Wednesday, September 2, 2009
For a New York lover like me this is fantastic, and I'm sure you'll enjoy it too. It's a huge project launched by landscape ecologist Dr. Eric Sanderson, which goal is to rediscover how Manhattan was before the Europeans arrived in 1609. It's called The Mannahatta Project, after the name given to the island by the Lenape Natives.
You can see that Times Square used to be the meeting point between two creeks, making it an habitat of choice for all kinds of wildlife... "It turns out that the concrete jungle of New York City was once a vast deciduous forest, home to bears, wolves, songbirds, and salamanders, with clear, clean waters jumping with fish. In fact, with over 55 different ecological communities, Mannahatta’s biodiversity per acre rivaled that of national parks like Yellowstone, Yosemite and the Great Smoky Mountains!", says the website. If you live there, you can even punch in your address and see exactly what used to stand there!
I first read about it in The National Geographic (yes, we subscribe to that, and we're not exactly bearded pipe-smoking professors... In fact we're mostly doing it so we can continue a nearly complete 50 year-old collection of issues M inherited from his grandfather. But I'm always enjoying it a lot!)