Commissioned by the Canadian Plastics Industry Association, 6 giant polystyrene animal like containers are grouped on either side of the Don Valley Parkway (a major traffic artery into downtown Toronto). The containers are filled with a hydroponic soil matrix made of recycled plastics, a product that was researched and developed at the University of Lethbridge in partnership with the University of Calgary and the National Research Council. Native plants grow in the matrix and symbolize ecosystems found in a descent through the Don River Valley: alpine forest, alpine meadow, mixed forest, mixed lowland forest, cedar/shrub swamp, prairie meadow edge, short grass prairie, and bog. A solar photovoltaic pump cycles water from the polluted Don River through the containers and the indigenous plants filter pollutants from the water. On it’s return to the river, the water leaves the containers and moves through a constructed wetland that has created valuable habitat for native species.
All graphics and images were borrowed from the PAISEA magazine . September 2009