It’s always interesting when the urban present that we’ve grown accustomed to collides with a piece of the natural past. Such an event has recently occurred in South Lake Union, when builders unearthed a mammoth tusk that has been under the land for an estimated 16-22 thousand years. Finds like these are reminders that our concrete world was once made up of grassland, and animals such as mammoths roamed through what we now call streets. Before and during the ice ages in which the mammoth lived, Elliot Bay and the Puget Sound didn’t exist. There was just wide open plain, all the way to the ocean. It’s a rather spectacular image, to picture a mammoth strolling down the sidewalks of Seattle. And it’s fun to think that it was actually happening one day, just with less Starbucks’ around. Continue reading
The Elwha River runs the length of 45 miles on the Olympic Peninsula and is home to all five species of pacific salmon. For the time being, however, it’s most known for being in the process of undergoing the largest dam removal project in history, part of the Elwha Ecosystem Restoration Project, an initiative of the National Park Service to remove the river’s two dams and restore it to its natural state. Continue reading
How many plastic items can you reach out and touch right now? One certain item would be the screen you are reading this on. For me, I can also count my keyboard, my phone, my reusable coffee cup, my tape dispenser, and my belt. The more I look around, the more plastic I embedded into my daily life.
Continuing the dialogue following the plastic bag ban in Seattle, the Burke Museum takes a closer look at our relationship with plastic in its ongoing exhibit “Plastics Unwrapped.” Located on the University of Washington campus, this exhibit explores plastic’s interactions – both positive and negative – with human life, and how plastic technology is changing global culture.