Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Teton Trekkin'

Two weeks ago I snapped a few photos of the construction site formerly known as old-growth forest so I could give y'all an update on the "progress" of the Teton Trek exhibit. Apparently, my protective subconscious forgot to post them.

It's just such a bummer, dudes -- you know?

This first pic was taken at the construction entrance looking west along a narrow corridor that runs between Sam Cooper and Galloway. If you've lived in Memphis awhile, you know this as "the old bus lane" and/or "the old trolley line" and/or "the old Raleigh Springs Railroad line."

We know this corridor as our line in the sand.

Back in the 1950s, the 300-foot right of way for Interstate 40 was supposed to bisect Overton Park along this same corridor, until a pesky little citizen's group decided they had a right to be angry that public parkland was about to be destroyed without any public input.

Imagine that.

Notice the dense forest on the left/south side of our line in the sand? That's the northern edge of the 17 surviving acres of old-growth forest inside the Memphis Zoo's fence.

Maybe you've heard, we want those 17 acres back.

Notice the line of trees on the right/north side of that photo? Those are a dozen of the 78 trees that the Memphis Zoo tied yellow ribbons around so the bulldozers wouldn't level 'em along with four acres of old-growth forest. Most of the Lucky 78 are located along fence lines, where they won't get in the way of it's-called-progress.

I like this crane. But only because she's named Lorain.

The 45-foot-tall red-iron building in the background is "replicated after the Old Faithful Lodge in Yellowstone National Park," according to the Memphis Zoo's newly updated Teton Trek page.

I'm pretty sure that the gaping maws that line this concrete building are not actually intended to evoke the U-Boat pens at Lorient, as my husband suggests. They aren't quite big enough.

Finally, we're confronted with a massive and ever-growing erection that I couldn't even fit in my camera lens.

You can draw your own conclusions.

I try to think of it as a cenotaph in memory of four acres of fallen forest. It's our job to make sure that forest didn't die in vain.


Anonymous said...

To protect those "lucky 78" they should not be disturbing anything under their canopy not park all their equipment right at the trunk. Supposedly they have an Arborist? I think those 78 trees will just suffer a slower death. Time will tell.