Dallas’ latest Nature District will turn an undeveloped flood plain into a vibrant riverfront park

Access to green space is imperative to a city resident’s survival; one only needs to venture to some corner of Central Park any day of the week to see the city’s inhabitants recharging amidst the grass, trees and ponds. That’s why Dallas’ latest project, turning the currently underdeveloped Trinity River Corridor into a full-fledged Nature District, is so important and monumental for the surrounding area’s inhabitants. dallas-trinity-river-park-6 The park, designed by Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates, is set to be 10 times larger than Central Park, clocking in at over 10,000 acres of green space. The Trinity River cuts through the major metropolis though it’s currently isolated from the city; this plan aims to change that by transforming the surrounding flood plain into a vibrant, family-friendly and activity-filled nature park. Playgrounds, walking trails, bike paths and other public spaces are all set to open by October 2017, though a golf course, horse park and Audubon Center are already accessible. Plus, the build out will help protect the river from flooding— an extra environmental bonus. [mymodernmet.com] dallas-trinity-river-park-5 dallas-trinity-river-park-4 dallas-trinity-river-park-3 dallas-trinity-river-park-2 dallas-trinity-river-park-1

The 2017 Sony photography award submissions are already proving to be out of this world

Each year, Sony hosts a photography contest, the Sony World Photography Awards, where professional, hobbyist and youth photographers alike can submit their most arresting photographs for consideration to win the prestigious awards. The ceremony will take place in London on April 20, 2017.sonyworldawardphoto2017firstentires0-1-900x600 So far, the entries range from crisp nature shots to dreamy studio set ups; the single thread linking them of course being the raw talent and unbridled inspiration of each photographer. We’re particularly drawn to the black and white shot of the zonked out Malaysian schoolboy and the Finnish police officer, resplendent in red sunglasses and neon necklaces. In each, a universal humanity is laid bare, exposing an undefinable relatable quality of both the photographer and subject. [h/t fubiz.net] sonyworldawardphoto2017firstentires0-900x550 sonyworldawardphoto2017firstentires1-900x600 sonyworldawardphoto2017firstentires2-900x1350 sonyworldawardphoto2017firstentires3-900x599 sonyworldawardphoto2017firstentires4-900x569 sonyworldawardphoto2017firstentires8-900x601 sonyworldawardphoto2017firstentires9-900x554 sonyworldawardphoto2017firstentires12-900x600 sonyworldawardphoto2017firstentires13-900x675

Beth Moon’s majestic photographs of ancient trees from all over the world will make you a tree hugger

Sometimes we want art for arts sake— pretty pictures to simply enhance our everyday. Other times, beautiful images serve a bigger purpose for the greater good, calling attention to issues otherwise unknown. Such is the case for Beth Moon’s photographic series of the planet’s most stunning, unique, and, in some cases, endangered trees. 1rtbyyuyopuy Moon began her arborist journey in 1999 with the intention to photograph trees that are “unique in their exceptional size, heredity, or folklore.” She found all three, though not without some serious searching, as she explains that “sometimes the journey is half the fun.” 2gvdfgbd-gb She began her journey in Great Britain and traveled through America, Africa, the Middle East and Asia. During one particular quest in Madagascar, Moon remembers she had to get help from a local chief to locate the tree. “It was so big, you would think it would be easy to spot,” she says, but since “so many of our old trees have been cut down that without a concerted effort you are not likely to run across one.” She found the tree in the end and even had an audience of villagers while she photographed it. 3gfbun Speaking of her photographs, Moon takes hers on a Pentax medium-format film camera. Once she develops the negatives, she imprints them on heavy cotton paper coated with platinum and palladium metals. This way, the image is embedded into the fibers of the paper, giving a full circle aspect to the medium and subject. 4jhkp Something that Moon realized during her time spent among the tress is how resilient so many of them are. She says, “I am always amazed at the way trees have the ability to endure and adapt to severe conditions. Some ancient trees hollow out as they age as a survival technique. The tree will send an aerial root down the center of the trunk, which will continue to grow from the inside out.” 5azxem In her book Ancient Trees: Portraits of Time, she explains that many ancient trees “contain superior genes that have enabled them to survive through the ages, resistant to disease and other uncertainties.” Unfortunately, not all trees have the same strong survivalist instincts and are headed for extinction. 6jkfns She says “Quiver trees are dying from lack of water in Namibia. Dragons blood trees are in decline and on the endangered list, and three species of baobab trees are currently listed as endangered on the IUCN Red List. The disappearance of old-growth forests may be one of the most serious environmental issues today.”7bsub Thankfully, projects like hers brings much needed awareness to an otherwise under-publicized plight. For example, in 2007, a Madagascar grove of baobabs trees was granted temporary protected status as there is currently only 20 surviving trees from what was, at one time, a thriving tropical forest. Baobabs trees can grow to be 100 feet tall and are indigenous to the area. 8dbun Otherwise, Moon’s subjects range from teapot shaped trunks to massive species like this Kapok tree from Palm Beach, Florida. Moon actually stumbled upon this one in a book from the 1940s and hunted it down in Florida; she says “I could see that the trunk had filled out tremendously in 60 years; the roots now rise more than 12 feet above the ground.”9svbryaevb Whether you’re an environmentalist, art lover or tree hugger, you’ll find beauty in Beth Moon’s photographs that transcends her subject into something timeless and graceful.  [source: National Geographi]

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