Rewilding Possible in Artificial Surroundings?

To be clear i live somewhere in the Netherlands in the part below sea-level. The part we drained of water and cut up in square chunks to more easily “control” the land. Everything is flat here. I seriously wonder if it is possible to get into an intimate relationship with the land here as the land is a product of our control/production urge. Also there is not enough wildlife by far because of this. THink i have to move?

Can you develop your relationship with the sea?

no such thing as artificial surroundings

ever visited manhattan?

I agre, TonyZ! I bet we can find wild nywhere, n ny art, wit our kickas rewildin skills, wel, unles we count fictional storees then I can imagin such surroundins, or can I? I donno! I liv wit real life and nevr sensed such a thang as an artifical surroudnin. I’ve had art located in crtain places round me but nevr all round me. How can I, or we, imagin such a surroudin, if they don’t exist, by usin my imagination? Then do we see then? N our heads? ???

Prsonally, I’ve nevr gon to manhattan, sniffed out th place, but I hrd som storees, n fact, horrors storees com to mind. :-\

Hmmm im not sure if everyone understands the, er, manufacturedness of the dutch landscape. Maybe I shouldnt have posted “artificial surroundings” but “artificial landscape” or some such thing. The landscape here is like a product of the age of reason. Moreso one might say of the industrial revolution. The landscape is utilitarian in the way it changed WITH and according to the needs of a growing economy.

OF course i know i can find some wild somewhere, that is not really the issue. The issue is more, can i rewild in such a way in a place that is bereft of wilderness? what do you think?

Please be a little more explicit (constructive maybe) Tonyz…

Plants in cities have a degree of disconnection from the wilderness, as they’re usually not a part of interactive, sustainable plant communities. Plus, many of them are non-native species.

Well I do have friends in Queens who are trying to take it to another level, and I have heard stories of foraging in City Park.

To directly answer your question, I have been to Manhattan, rather, I drove through it, picking up my friend in Queens, and on my way to Mountain Festival in West Virginia. It was an interesting reflection, being parked in the middle of the street and many people flow around me, walking and accomplishing much more movement than I was in in my motor vehicle.

But I couldn’t help but think of Cahokia mound.

The center of Mississippi valley culture, itself wasn’t an ecosystem, but the center of life, where a pyramid communicated the new agricultural and medicinal knowledges from across the valley. Traffic clogging the rivers, me in my birch canoe waiting to trade my goods or move on to the Gulf from the Great Lakes.

Sure, we’re definitely fucking some things up, but I am reminded of the old adage, judge not, lest ye be judge.

I lived in Manhattan and Queens. You can find the wild there. It may have its own domesticated tinge, but so do we. At the very least, you can find primary and secondary succession life trying to reclaim the wild – fighting with the civilized to take root and hold before the next foot falls.

I don’t know what your land looks like in the Netherlands, timeLESS, but I know that everywhere I have lived, despite how hard man has worked to keep nature at bay, nature still marches right back again and again.

Now, in a broad-stroke view, I can definitely feel a difference between the wild that fought against the urban environment in NYC and the wild that fights against the sub-urban environment where I live now. I like this wild better because it doesn’t have as much concrete, pedestrian and automotive traffic and pollution to fight against. I can see green all around me every day, whereas I had to go somewhere to see it in Manhattan.

In short, it comes down to a matter of degrees. What degree of the civilized/wild struggle do you want to put up with? Everything civilization does in terms of the land it does “to more easily control the land”, and no stretch of the globe stands untouched from civilization today.

Well some dutch smart-asses drained all the water from huge swamps years and years ago, effectively creating new land. They then controlled this new man-made-landscape with all kinds of drainage systems and dikes and all that. This is the land i live on. It is shaped by growing economy. It is all utilitarian and i can’t seem to find my peace on it. Maybe it is best put like this: The land here has not grown by itself to become what it is. All the land i live on is a result of the control-fix of our civ. It has not grown free. It is forced into something it wouldnt have become if left to its own.


If you cannot find your peace on it, then that land hasn’t claimed you. Simple as that.

what do you mean with that jason? im afraid i dont understand what you’re trying to say.

also, i might add that whenever i leave this landbase and travel east or south, towards a landscape that has rolling hills (a rare feature in flatland…uhmm…the netherlands) trees and a land that has formed itself troughout history i feel much more in tune.

I think im reaching my own conclusions here :slight_smile:

Everyone sees things their own way, but to me completetly urban rewilding seems possible only until i spend time in real wilderness and then all my urban pursuits seem shitty. Trying to track in an urban place versus tracking in wilderness feels like night and day differences. In the wilderness around here you cannot help but track because you see track and sign everywhere you look. In the city or suburb you must constantly hunt for little glimpses of wild nature amongst the concrete and asphalt hell. It fucking sucks.

I mean that you don’t get to choose your land, Timeless. Your land chooses you. You belong to the land, not vice versa. Had the choice belonged to me, I would not have chosen Toby, but the choice didn’t belong to me–Toby chose me. Like you said, you largely answer this question for yourself. You know what land has called you, even if it might take a little back and forth to draw that answer out consciously. When you travel east and south, you feel much more in tune. The land that has claimed you lies to the east and south.

What is it that keeps you there? Exploring that in depth might help you find either your relationship with the place you are or the wherewithall to find the place you want to be.

what keeps me here? my partners studies, my friends… thats it really…

Well I’d move if you don’t feel connected to the land, if you have the opportunity to. I recently left Chicago, not because it’s completely bereft of wilderness, but because I knew I didn’t belong there. I’m moving to beautiful Portland in the Fall and starting school again and it’s probably the most abrupt and absurd decision I’ve ever made, but I was in Forest Park a couple days ago and it confirmed it’s also the best decision I’ve ever made.

Despite any argument about how much you can rewild in urban settings (I’m very new to this - I recognize like ten plants as of this week, and that’s about the extent of my abilities), I think if you don’t feel a love for the land you probably won’t be as motivated, or at least won’t be as happy. And hell, it can’t be easy to be genuine about trying to “rewild” in land you don’t feel connected with. Seems like it kind of defeats the purpose at least on a spiritual level, if you have the opportunity to go somewhere that you do love.

Of course, I’m something of an antisocial individual, so I can completely understand how other people would need to stay by their communities more than I can possibly relate to. I get along with dogs much better than people… :stuck_out_tongue:

See, and here’s my weirdness. I totally beleive that the land chooses you. I know, because the city chose me. Here I am, all wanting to escape and be indigenous, and the city says to me, no, you can’t leave, I need your help to be right again. The city calls to me, to be nearly empty of people, to be covered in weeds, to be wandered looking for empty lots, good scavenging, and the sights of urban decay.

I get out. I like our local forests a lot, really I do. I just feel more at home in urban areas. Not city life, not the civilization, but the parts where civilization is failing and all the work of a thousand builders is coming to ruin as bad planning, entropy and nature work together to tear it down.

So yes, I think you can find yourself in an artificial environment. I think you can find wildness there. I think it would be possible to go indigenous even inside a space station if it were large enough.

[font=georgia]I can’t help my curiosity, timeLESS what conclusion have you come to? Have you moved to new land? Has the land there instead claimed you? It has been some years since you have posted this and if you are around, I know I would find value in your answers.[/font]

timeLESS hasn’t been here in a while. I wonder the same things. I’ll try to contact him somehow.