Green Corridor Proposal
This proposal extends the 'Means of Production' intervention into the Windsor Ontario's downtown core as part of the Green Corridor intiative. The objective is (in a small way) to re-purpose the scrap from the area's declining auto industry and combine it with wood grown from plantations of carbon absorbing trees to make shovels with which to plant even more trees with which to reduce the greenhouse gases emitted by a major transportation corridor. Means of Production is a series of neighbourhood scale botanical interventions into damaged urban landscapes, which provide urban greening, raw materials and relational social spaces in marginalized areas. The Windsor piece, tentatively called "Means of Production- Green Corridor Version," will consist of an urban ecoforestry plantation of hickory and black locust, near the foot of the Ambassador Bridge.These would be pruned and grown to provide a crop of tool handles. The trees will be managed using a technique called 'coppicing' which allows them to regrow from their stumps and to be harvested again, ad infinitum, absorbing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere as they grow. The black locust fixes nitrogen from the air, making it available to the hickory, forming what is known as a 'guild' . Locusts also have the ability to clean soil be absorbing toxic metals etc. and sequestering them in the wood. After the handles are harvested and milled using simple non-electric pole lathes, (made from a sawhorse and a sapling and a piece of string), we will forge shovels, rakes, hoes etc. from scrap automobile parts, using simple 'guerrilla' blacksmithing techniques., i.e re-purposing the industrial archeology of the area. (One of the forge designs is based on a modified backyard barbecue.) Combined with the handles, the resultant forged tools would then be used to dig the holes to plant more trees. "Means of Production- Eastern Iteration" is conceived to re-frame the industrial heritage of the Auto Age as a 'mine' of opportunity on which to build new green initiatives. It acknowledges the rich and complex history of the North American auto industry and draws from it the resources necessary to heal the damage it has caused. It also creates the opportunity for local people, many of whom have been displaced from the assembly lines, to 'reforge' their relationship to nature and to "re-skill," thereby regaining some control over their means of production.