Everton Park FORAGING SPIRAL and BASECAMP
Commissioned by Liverpool Biennial, 2012 / see occasional Wikidiary updates
watch the VIDEO / view final report in the THE EVERTON PARK SCROLL (pdf)
Everton People's Park: Foraging Spiral and Basecamp commissioned by the Liverpool Biennial is a long term project to reconcile a distant deep natural history and a more recent fraught social past with a collectively re-imagined future for Liverpool’s Everton Park in partnership with local residents and collaborators.
The elevated central site of the bowl-shaped hollow - previously occupied by a small wheel manufacturer - in the middle of the park is selected as the optimal location for the project. This unique and unoccupied space is situated at the top of the hill, adjacent to the look-out crescent, popular with locals and tourists, but sheltered by the surrounding berms of earth. The first phase of the project includes a one-day archeological dig, the planting of a wild edible spiraling garden, a temporary basecamp headquarters for a series conversations about the park's past and future, a printed journal that reports on the gathering, and a video that tells the story of the park from multiple points of view. Treating the hollow as a microcosm of the entire park, a series experiments is presented to publicly present the range of activities and features the local community would like to see in their park. The series of projects is developed in partnership with James Corner Field Operations, who are working on a long term master plan for the park.
Under the park are the remains of two neighborhoods that were leveled, first a community of terrace row houses in the early 60‘s and later a series of modern housing blocks in the 80‘s. On May 26th, 2012, a team of collaborating archeologists from the National Museums Liverpool and Ken Rogers, author of the Lost Tribe of Everton, performed a one-day dig to locate evidence of St. Benedict's Church which once stood at the entry to the garden site on Heyworth Street. The corner of the facade was revealed for a few hours, while local residents who had attended the church came to watch, some who had even been married and baptized there. Hundreds of bricks that were excavated were used for the borders of a new planting bed.
The project started by allowing the existing grass within the entire area bounded by the circular overlook drive in the center of the park to grow and gradually turn into a tall wild meadow, into which paths are mown which follow the crest of the bowl and down into the center. On May 27th, 2012, A 6 foot wide by 450 foot long bed of wild, native, and edible plantings (with local partners Squash Nutrition, The National Wildflower Centre, and the Everton Park horticulturist) lined with excavated brick from the archeology dig, was established, starting at the park entry at Heyworth Street and continuing into the central 'bowl' where it spirals into a circular gathering area.
At the center of the Foraging Spiral is a circle of logs inviting people into conversation. From September 14th to 16th, 2012 a large geodesic dome tent is installed on this site during the opening of the Liverpool Biennial serving as a temporary drop-in interpretive center to present stories about the natural and social past of the park, and for the community to convene and discuss their future visions for the place.
During the course of the four days of events in the Basecamp, a journalist in residence will contribute reports on the park conversations and presentations for a journal, printed in scroll form, as an archival record of historical overviews, new ideas, interviews, transcripts, reports, quotes, opinions, photos, maps, diagrams, etc. which will be edited, designed and produced in the space each day.
A video featuring interviews with local archeologists, gardeners, historians, ecologists, and especially local residents, to tell the story of the natural and social history of Everton Park - it's current condition - and imaginations for it's possible future - is presented in a local museum and in the Basecamp events.
May 1: the grass is allowed to grow into a meadow
May 25 - 30: establishing the Foraging Spiral and archeological digs
Jun - Sep: Foraging Spiral grows and community events
Sep 14 - 17: special programmed HQ events, gatherings and conversations for Biennial opening
Sep 18 - Nov 25: video screening, printed material, and various garden activities through the Liverpool Biennial
September 14th - 16th, 2012, 10am – 6pm
THE PARK AND THE PAST / Friday, September 14th
Conversation The Heritage Line / 1pm – 3pm / Ken Rogers, author of The Lost Tribe of Everton, John Hutchison, Friends of Everton Park, Mark Adams, Community Archaeologist and local residents discuss how the site’s past may shape its future and what the Heritage Line proposed by Field Operations could look like.
Telling the Story / 3pm – 5pm / Bring your memories and memorabilia and work with Fritz Haeg, Tom Corbett, local journalist and Polly Brannan of artist collective, avantgardening, to contribute to a publication that will be created over the weekend for distribution to local residents and visitors to the Field Operations’ exhibition at the World Museum (15 September – 25 November).
THE PARK AND THE FUTURE / Saturday, September 15th
Conversation The Look Out / 10am – 12pm / James Corner, Director of Field Operations, Richard Cass, Director of Cass Associates (original architect of park), James McCarthy, local horticulturist, Richard Tracey, Liverpool Vision, Tom Duckworth, Liverpool City Council and local residents discuss how the future park could look, feel and function.
Conversation The Art Line and Activity Loop / 2pm – 4pm / Sally Tallant, Director, Liverpool Biennial, Adam Byrne and Paula Kearns, Friends of Everton Park and organisers of Out of the Blue music festival, Peter Ward, Director of Hope Street Ltd and Nicky Yates, Liverpool City Council discuss staging cultural and sporting events in the park.
Workshop / 4pm – 6pm / Bring your ideas and visions to draw the future of the park with Fritz Haeg and Polly Brannan.
THE PARK AND THE LAND / Sunday, September 16th
Conversation The Food Line / 10am - 12pm / Paul Nolan, Mersey Forest, Jan Pell, National Wildflower Centre, artist Rebecca Chesney, local gardeners James McCarthy and Gemma Jerome, and John Hutchison, Friends of Everton Park Growers’ Group discuss how the park could become more productive and increase its bio-diversity.
Harvest / 1pm - 4pm / Join gardeners James McCarthy and Gemma Jerome to gather the harvest in the Foraging Spiral.
FORAGING SPIRAL PLANTS
Mind-your-own-business (also called baby’s tears – Soleirolia soleirolii)
ox eye daisy
White Bell (Onion family)
Judy of the Woods
Wild Man Wild Food
wild foraging in Scotland
Plants for a Future
The Lost Tribe of Everton,by Ken Rogers
At Home on the Earth
Project Dirt Liverpool
Thanks to Richard Scott, senior project manager, National Wildflower Centre and Gemma Jerome, Squash Nutrition
Programming and production: Polly Brannan, Avant Gardening
Archeological dig: National Museums Liverpool with Ken Rogers, author of The Lost Tribe of Everton
Community partners: Friends of Everton Park
Landscape architect collaborators: James Corner Field Operations
Gardening: James McCarthy, Everton Park
Graphic designer: Sara de Bondt
Journalist in residence: Thomas Corbett
Video: Sam Walkerdine and Polly Brannan
THE EVERTON PARK SCROLL
Text from the final report:
+ Leave some part of the ground excavated for people to see the ‘history beneath their feet’.
+ A heritage market, located on Village Street.
+ Facilities for people to park when they get here.
+ Make reference to the fact that this was the most densely populated area in England.
+ Verse kids in their local history. Could they be inspired by some of what happened around them?
+ Collate information from the thousands who used to live here and come back to the park. Who they were, where they were from, and their memories.
+ Link that gate in the dock wall to the history of Everton Park.
+ Recreate some of the games people used to play on the streets before the park was built.
+ One of the first heated swimming pools in the country was built were the sandstone basin is. Could we build it again with that view out the window?
+ A Slow the traffic on Netherfield Road and Shaw Street.
+ Have an array of comfortable seating. A park full of benches.
+ Close a section of the car park to reclaim the view and create a place to sit and congregate.
+ Install a round table. For discussions.
+ A slide linking the top and bottom parks.
+ Bulldoze the concrete structure facing Netherfield Road – ‘the Stalinist Colonnade’.
+ An adventure playground.
+ Dog bins.
+ 50sq metre gardens that people can cultivate together.
+ Small resource vans where you can get seeds and tools to garden with.
+ Flowers for people’s windowsills in the Everton Park neighbourhood.
+ Hobbit house toilets.
+ Bushcraft skills training days.
+ Lower trees to reveal more of the view.
+ A place to cook in the park.
+ A horticulture qualification in the schools.
+ Paid apprenticeships in park maintenance.
+ Entice people into the park with imaginative planting on the entry points.
+ Install the prototype compost toilets from Taiwanese company Atelier-3.
+ Collect thoughts from people who use the park: when and why they come.
+ Collate all the information on what is happening, and how people can get involved in Everton park, onto one ‘map of activities’.
+ Work with anyone and everyone who can bring help, add value and share expertise.
+ Build a cafe. Profits could be re-invested into the park. It should be in the best position for the view, but could be build ‘into’ the land, rather than perched on top. Food could include produce from the area.
+ Open up the park – get rid of the railings. But at the right time, for now the park might need some ‘protection’ from cars and scrambler bikes.
+ A Close off the car park so that people can’t drive in, see the view, and drive off, without ever setting foot in the park.
+ Exploit what is already here, doing things that are readily achievable.
+ Invest in organisations and projects that are underway in the park.
+ Make the most of the history ‘beneath our feet’ by excavation, marking where streets once were, and having a smart-phone application that flashes up images of what used to be where you
'Everton People’s Park: Foraging Spiral and Basecamp,' commissioned by Liverpool Biennial, is a long term project to reconcile a distant deep natural history and a more recent fraught social past with a collectively re-imagined future for Liverpool’s Everton Park, in partnership with local residents and collaborators. The elevated central site of the bowl-shaped hollow – previously occupied by a small wheel manufacturer – in the middle of the park is selected as the optimal
location for the project. This unique and unoccupied space is situated at the top of the hill, adjacent to the look-out crescent, popular with locals and tourists, but sheltered by the surrounding berms of earth. The first phase of the project includes a one-day archaeological dig, the planting of a wild edible spiraling garden, a temporary basecamp headquarters for a series of conversations about the park’s past and future, a printed journal that reports on the gathering, and a video that tells the story of the park from multiple points of view. Treating the hollow as a microcosm of the entire park, a series of experiments is presented to publicly demonstrate the range of activities and features the local community would like to see in their park. The series of projects is developed in partnership with James Corner Field Operations, who are working on a long term vision for the park.
Under the park are the remains of two neighbourhoods that were demolished, first a community of terraced houses in the early 1960s and later a series of high rise housing blocks in the 1980s. On 26 May 2012, a team of collaborating archaeologists from the National Museums Liverpool and Ken Rogers, author of The Lost Tribe of Everton, performed a one-day dig to locate evidence of St. Benedict’s Church which once stood at the entry to the garden site on Heyworth Street. The corner of the facade was revealed for a few hours, while local residents who had attended the church came to watch, some who had even been married and baptised there. Hundreds of bricks that were excavated were used for the borders of a new planting bed.
The project started by allowing the existing grass within the entire area bounded by the circular overlook drive in the centre of the park to grow and gradually turn into a tall wild meadow, into which paths are mown which follow the crest of the bowl and down into the centre. On 27 May 2012, a 6 foot wide by 450 foot long bed of wild, native, and edible plantings (with local partners Squash Nutrition, The National Wildflower Centre, and the Everton Park horticulturist) lined with excavated brick from the archaeology dig, was established, starting at the park entry at Heyworth Street and continuing into the central ‘bowl’ where it spirals into a circular gathering area.
At the centre of the Foraging Spiral is a circle of logs inviting people into conversation. From 14 to 16 September 2012 a large geodesic dome tent was installed on this site during the opening of Liverpool Biennial serving as a temporary drop-in interpretive centre to present stories about the natural and social past of the park, and for the community to convene and discuss their future visions for the place. All discussion voiced over the three days has been recorded collectively, rather than attributed to individuals.
Day 1 : The Park and The Past - Friday 14 September 2012
13:00–15:00: A conversation with Ken Rogers, author of The Lost Tribe of Everton; John Hutchison, Friends of Everton Park; Mark Adams, Community Archaeologist, National Museums Liverpool; and local residents discussing how the site’s past may shape its future.
+ Imagine the place you grew up in. Not just your home, but your street, your school, the pub your Dad used to go to, the cinema you’d go to as a kid. Imagine you’ve come back there, after twenty years away. Only you don’t recognise a thing. Your home has gone, the school, the pub, the cinema, and the streets. The only thing left that proves to you it’s
the same place is the view. Everything else is mowed grass, and landscaped hills.
+ 100,000 people were moved from Everton
during a clearance programme that started in 1960, to be replaced by 25 high rise tower blocks that were knocked down to make way for one of the largest inner city parks built in the 20th century in England.
+ The demolition of entire communities is a trauma that makes up a core history of
people’s memory in Liverpool. You can’t make a park and pretend it never happened.
+ For many of those thousands the park is a spiritual place, somewhere to make sense of life and the past.
+ Some lived through that trauma. The experience of people being moved and streets being demolished was a constant. A different kid leaving your class every week. A whole estate, built 10 years before, becoming a ghost
town. Tractors reshaping the land. JCBs shifting the rubble of houses, shops and pubs into mounds to be grassed over.
+ People fought for patches of housing. Streets ready for demolition were saved. Netherfield Road, running straight through the middle of the grand park plan could no longer be grassed over, or else the community that remained would have been isolated. What remained was an incomplete park, and a community with incomplete resources.
+ It’s a social history that is long remembered and talked about. But of course there is more history to the site than the preceding 50 years. Before the densely packed streets, or the wealthy mansion houses of merchants, Everton provided a farming livelihood for a village overlooking the small town of Liverpool.
+ The area today seems torn between those histories – with raised beds, meadows, and orchards in amongst the remaining streets and pubs that sit disjointed by swathes of mowed grass.
Questions with initial answers
How can that history inform the future? Specifically?
+ There are already plans from the Friends of Everton Park Heritage group to have a heritage trail with signs in the ground before the year is out. Set up in August 2011, the group’s aim was to give something to those thousands who come back to the area, to locate exactly where they used to live.
+ We hope to have three projects. The first is a trail signposting the history of Everton from when the Beacon was built, 800 years ago, to the collapse of the high rise living experiment in the 1980s.
+ A second trail would follow the history from the park down to Great Homer Street, and the+ final vision is for something that would allow people to really see exactly where the streets used to be under their feet.
+ Make use of the history that is already there. Village Street, the historical centre of old Everton is currently hidden by mounds of grass. It could be opened up by removing some of the earth, and thinning the trees that separate it off from the rest of the park. The street is where the ancient village cross, which mysteriously disappeared, once stood; where Everton Football Club was renamed from St Domingo’s; and where Prince Rupert had 10,000 troops camped before his siege on Liverpool.
+ If you walk in a straight line from the top park down to the river you get to a gate in the dock wall. On that gate, written too high for most people to notice, is a plaque where it is written ‘Four million Irish came through this gate on their search for a new life.’ That influx of people is what directly transformed this area. That link
could be capitalised on.
+ If you go to Rome and dig up ruins you’d get 200 people around the dig looking in. Come here today and dig up someone’s old back yard and outhouse and you’d get 500 people showing up with open mouths. Sometimes the best way to reveal history is to just dig it up.
+ It’s important to keep in mind who the park is for. There are roughly four groups: local residents; ex-residents coming back; the city of Liverpool; and visitors to Liverpool. A heritage trail, in theory, meets the needs of those groups. But you don’t want to make that the primary purpose for the park.
Day 2: The Park and The Future - Saturday 15 September 2012
10:00 – 12:00: A conversation with James Corner,
Director of Field Operations; Richard Cass, Director of Cass Associates (the original architect of park); James McCarthy, local horticulturist; Richard Tracey, Liverpool Vision; Tom Duckworth, Liverpool City Council; and local residents discussing how the future park could look, feel and function.
James Corner Field Operations – The Proposal With a park this size and with so many stories and groups, the idea of another grand design was impractical. Instead, to incorporate the growers, the history people, the dog walkers, the runners, and everyone else, we came up with themed pathways through the park. By extending the pathways into different parts of the city the park could become more integrated into its locality and the rest of the city. In a way it’s an invitation to the park.
The Food line – fruit and vegetable growing, foraging. The Health & Fitness line – running, cycling, walking, exercising. The History line – heritage trails, archaeological digs. The Lookout line – the view.
To strengthen interaction between the city and the park we thought of giving the opportunity for people to take things from the park back into the city, like fruit, vegetables, or fold up chairs, in a form of propagation. The concept of interaction and multiplicity, rather than one grand design, avoids the old habits of a city erasing itself and
starting again and again. Everton, perhaps more than any other district in England, knows the tragedy of that process too well.
Questions with initial answers
(not from Field Operations)
What could come from the bottom up?
What could come from the top down?
The idea of stewardship gives space for things to continue to grow and happen. The park is in need of a nucleaus – a cafe with toilets, and good quality facilities. Top down organisations can be very effective and fast at delivering that. The temporary solution Temporary structures allow the discussion of whether this thing is a good idea, whether it could be changed, discarded, or kept, like the Another Place installation on Crosby Beach. Could Everton
Park be a testing bed for temporary art and structures? Some we keep and some we discard?
How much can grass-roots organisations do?
Community organisations often only have a few paid staff, without the capacity to take on more and more responsibility. They might not have access to the machinery of a large, well-funded organisation. But that’s not to say they don’t have an abundance of vision and ideas.
Do the top down organisations need to ‘get out of the way’?
No. Liverpool City Council is desperate for something to happen and will do everything they can do to mobilise energy, ideas and action. The schools and health centre were fought for for years by local people. The council listened to and supported those campaigns, which was vital for it to happen. We have people on the ground making
things happen, but we could do with some more.
How does the relationship work between organisations coming into the park and organisations who are ‘grass-roots’ and already there?
Answer 1: Let experts be experts
+ Projects are multi-layered. Outside organisations can facilitate the organisation of community events.
+ Outside organisations locate and deliver the best artists and architects in the world to create an ecology that produces an ambitious plan.
+ If everyone tries to work at the same level then we lower our collective creativity.
+ Tackling global challenges with local solutions means outside experts working in local contexts.
Answer 2: Grow expertise
+ Do it yourself. The Out of the Blue (OTB) festival is one of the few which sprang up entirely from the community. No one came in and organised it. Often money is frontloaded+ into the vision-making process, when it would be more productive in organic growth.
+ The idea of ‘experts’ and ‘non-experts’ can be a barrier to people’s engagement.
+ Natural local activity avoids the problem of striving for certain results.
Answer 1 + Answer 2 = Answer 3:
+ Come from outside with a strategy of working with people here to achieve action. Come in and ask ‘who are those people to work with?’ When things are in motion, leave at the right time.
+ Things work best when the ideas come from the people already here. Do things with people, not to people.
+ Have as much expertise and imagination as possible. Which includes the expertise of what’s already happening in Everton and the people there. Outside knowledge can inform local expertise and local knowledge can inform outside expertise.
+ Example: When Everton needed more housing, local residents came together with the housing association, CDS. They listened to residents, went away, made plans, and came back with a set of proposals that were discussed before being accepted. The residents were experts in what would work in their community. The housing association were experts in how you draw that up and implement it.
14:00 – 16:00: A conversation with Sally Tallant, Director, Liverpool Biennial; Adam Byrne and Paula Kearns, Friends of Everton Park and organisers of Out of the Blue music festival; Peter Ward, Director of Hope Street Ltd; and Nicky Yates of Liverpool City Council; discussing the staging of cultural and sporting events in the park.
Profile 1. Getting 6000 people into the park - Out of the Blue
Organised by West Everton Community Council The original OTB was in 1991, when the park as you see it first opened. Thousands came. Many were families that had been moved out as the park was built, or even before. Then in 2008 the
tragic death of Joseph Lappin, a teenager who was murdered in the park, sparked off a call to do something in the park and in 2009 we resurrected the festival. In 2010 we got more ambitious and said let’s do a six month programme. The highlight has been seeing that grow. There is always one event each year that really takes off. The idea is to get people into the park and talking about the park, to make it a place people use and feel good in. It’s the only festival I know which just sprang up from the community. No one from outside came over and organised it. We just did it ourselves. Telephone 0151 282 0303
Profile 2. Hope Street International Creative Centre
Hope Street Theatre works closely with schools and residents in Everton. They tell stories that
people want to tell, and perform drama on the slopes of the park. This year they received funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund to apply for the project to turn the former Everton Library, on the edge of the park, into a Creative Centre. If the full application is successful the building will be back in use by Autumn 2016. It will be an opportunity for people to learn about the heritage of the library and the area, to get hands-on skills of restoration, and to engage with arts programmes for young and old. That will be in addition to its core aim of developing
artists and art forms. Telephone 0151 708 8007
Profile 3. Liverpool Active City
Everton, in particular, has extremely high levels of chronic anxiety stress. Just sitting in an open green space lowers your blood pressure considerably, and physical activity does a lot to relieve tension. Liverpool PCT’s Active City programme encourages physical activity and removes barriers to access, like cost. In flat parks you have ample space for sports pitches, but on a terrain like Everton Park, that’s more difficult. What you try instead is to utilise that topography. Running tracks, cycle and BMX trails, gardening projects all contribute to that. It’s important to think about how the whole park and its different uses can contribute to health. If there’s an art installation or a building project we can ask ‘how can people get physically involved in that?’ www.liverpoolactivecity.co.uk, Telephone 0151 233 5433
Profile 4. The Meadows, Everton Park
Commissioned by Landlife (REF)
A void can be beautiful or threatening. An ocean or a desert has a different emptiness to an expanse of lawn in the middle of a city with no one on it. A meadow isn’t for sitting in, so it can transform a void into something beautiful. The idea came from the artist Rebecca Chesney’s project at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park. After studying the movement and population of bees, she proposed to plant two acres of blue and yellow flowers in the area to encourage more bee-colonisation. The proposal couldn’t be implemented in Yorkshire. But, with commissioning by Landlife and the Arts Council, and the enthusiastic response by Friends of Everton Park, she brought them here instead.
Day 3: The Park and the Land - Sunday 16 September 2012
10:00 – 12:00: A conversation with Paul Nolan, Mersey Forest; Jan Pell, National Wildflower Centre; artist Rebecca Chesney; local gardeners James McCarthy and Gemma Jerome; and John Hutchison, Friends of Everton Park Growers’
Group discuss how the park could become more productive and increase its bio-diversity.
+ The land has a longer memory than the area’s social history. Before people occupied the site, the area would have been coastal, with cliffs, sandstone ridges, and heathland plants.
+ That natural history is about where we are in an evolutionary context. It’s our common history.
+ You can still see exposed sandstone, the rocky outposts and feel the sea air. The hills around us almost feel like sand dunes in that sense.
+ Nature gives a model of slow and intimate processes. The artistic spiral here has been something that has been seeded months before, grown and cared for, and creates a place to talk.
+ Spirals draw people in from all over, they’re a focus for energy. We had a delegation from Shanghai here talking with kids from the area.
+ That approach is the opposite of how we normally approach a problem. Capitalism says if you want to get people into a space build a stadium, a supermarket, a shopping centre. Build big, and build quickly, and build it all at once.
+ But engagement with the land and with people is a slow process.
+ It’s also a stop-start and unpredictable process.
+ We often think in lines and end results when we think of change. Life shows that growth comes in varying layers at different times, and death is a key part of that. Sometimes things stop, or don’t work, or need moving elsewhere. Death is something is often missing from design. When design presumes it’ll be everlasting it inevitably fails.
+ Those life-giving processes of planting, growing, sustaining, and eating could be a new direction for Everton Park. Orchards, allotments, raspberry fields. People love to forage, or picnic, or grow and nurture what’s there.
+ Cooking focuses all that gardening, foraging and conversation into one place over a fire or stove. The spiral is a small
utopian model of that.
+ There is a lot in the landscape of the park that has the potential for different microcosms of life. You can allow wild-flowers to grow by just changing the mowing patterns in the summer. The sandstone areas could have rock plants. By focussing on what is already there you can see opportunities everywhere.
Questions and initial answers
+ We’re in a unique position to have some people that are already skilled and passionate about the land.
+ How do you replicate that?
+ Short-term apprenticeships, skills training in creating, maintaining, growing. Giving the chance for young people to become skilled and passionate.
+ How do you build support for wildlife projects?
+ You start with who is going to make these things happen rather than what is going to happen.
+ The Squash Nutrition project in Toxteth had aims of improving well-being and being sustainable. But what gets you there is human relationships. Having vision is important, but the really hard part is building trust.
+ It’s difficult because people don’t necessarily do what you hope they will. If you walk up to people who are trying to get a job, care for a family member, and deal with debts, and say ‘hey why not join us in planting some
stuff in the park?’ it’s pretty likely that they’re going to look at you like you’re from a different planet.
+ Saying that, involvement helps and nourishes those other zones of life.
+ One tactic is persistence. You just keep on at it. Advertising experts will tell you that everyone
needs to see or hear something 27 times before it becomes part of their consciousness.
+ And there are people who will get involved.
If go to the Shewsy for example, the youth club next to the nature garden, you’ll see 70 or 80 kids there every night.
+ For young people the key is consistency. If you have a project and you’re there say every Monday, parents know their kids are safe to go along to it, and you start building a core group.
Thoughts on a ‘food line’ through the park – linking schools, vegetable patches, foraging areas
+ When it comes to nature, you can’t just draw a line. There’s stuff going on all over the place, you don’t want to separate it like aisles in a supermarket.
+ Planting of new trees needs to be very sensitively done. There are two issues:
1. you don’t want to block the view and
2. if you install a woodland in an underused park people might find that threatening.
What makes a successful park?
+ Intricacy – Variety in shape and use.
+ Centring – An obvious centre to the park.
+ Sun – Tower blocks block sunlight.
+ Enclosure – Buildings that look onto to park to give it shape and imply its importance.
Demand Goods – What makes people go out of their way to come to a park?
+ Swimming, fishing, sports fields, concerts, music (including recorded music), plays.
+ Magnificent views are not demand goods (maybe they should be, but evidence shows otherwise).
+ Activities that are usually crowded out of cities, like places to hire and ride bikes.
What do you agree with? What do you disagree with? What ideas do you have? This is only the beginning of the process.
The best way to give your input is to join the Friends of Everton Park – a voluntary organisation which anyone can join.
+ Come to the FOEP General meetings, held every three months, and the history group meetings every month.
+ Assist in any or all of the events that make up the annual Out of the Blue festival.
+ Be part of the Heritage and the Growers group, who are involved in specific projects.
+ Open and supervise sessions for public use of the Nature Garden.
+ Be a Heritage Trail guide.
+ Be part of the Growers group to develop a food growing space at the Faith community plot, the Conway Street peace garden, the Heyworth Street spiral and the Everton Park orchard. We meet three or four times each week and you can learn all you need to know as you go.
+ Help with the Friends’ survey of users of Everton Park. Contact Paula Kearns on 0151 282 7654 or
Models: Jane Jacobs: The Death and Life of Great American Cities (1961)
“Far from transforming any essential quality in their surroundings, far from automatically uplifting their neighbourhoods, parks themselves are directly and drastically affected by the way the neighbourhood acts upon them.”
A port city with a metropolitan population of
around 600,000, Nantes has clear similarities to Liverpool. In the 18th and 19th centuries its economy revolved around the slave trade. In the 20th century that shifted to cargo and shipbuilding. When that collapsed in the 1980s and 1990s the city’s mayor made it his tenure’s aim to make Nantes the best place to live in France. Today every household is within 300 metres from open green space and public transport facilities. 470 people are employed in park maintenance. Investment has gone into arts and culture – skills and engineering know-how that were made redundant after the decline of industry were re-employed to create La Machine and the Sea Odyssey. In 2004 Nantes was named ‘The Most Liveable City in Europe’ by Time magazine, and in 2013 it will be ‘Europe’s Green Capital’.
Micro Village, from Taiwanese Company Atelier-3
Working in rural areas vulnerable to natural disasters, Atelier-3 design houses and buildings that can be built by anyone ‘who knows how to tighten a bolt’. Lightweight steel structures are assembled and then completed with materials from the area.
In Tibet the community filled the walls with earth, the same stuff they’d built their houses out
of for centuries. In artistic tribes each household designed the look of their home, with no house
looking the same. Because the architect provides only the platform and hands over the design and construction to the inhabitants, the process is democratic and renegotiates the balance of top down and bottom up organisation. One of their models is a ‘Micro Village’ which is self-sustainable and designed to leave as little ecological footprint as possible. It accommodates the daily cycle of production and consumption in one site, freeing it from dependency on top down power.
Foraging Spiral planting list:
Edible Roots & Stems
Mind-Your-Own- Business (Also called Baby’s Tears – Soleirolia Soleirolii)
Ox Eye Daisy
Medicinal or Herbal Shrubs
Self-Heal or Prunella
White Bell (Onion Family)
Everton Park Foraging Spiral and Basecamp, A project by Fritz Haeg, 2012 - Commissioned by Liverpool Biennial In partnership with Liverpool Vision, Liverpool City Council, Liverpool Primary Care Trust
Journalist: Thomas Corbett
Graphic design: Sara De Bondt studio
• Archaeological dig: National Museums Liverpool with Ken Rogers, author of The Lost Tribe of Everton
• Community partners: Friends of Everton Park
• Landscape architect collaborators: James Corner Field Operations
• Gardening: James McCarthy
• Thanks to Richard Scott, senior project manager, National Wildflower Centre and Gemma Jerome, Squash Nutrition
• Camera Sam Walkerdine and Nick Duckett
• Editing Fritz Haeg and Sam Walkerdine
• Production Polly Brannan
• Historic Everton photos from Liverpool Record Office, Liverpool Post, Echo/Trinity Mirror; courtesy of Ken Rogers and Ged Fagan
• Everton Park photos courtesy of Cass Associates
• Planting photos by Mark Loudon and Fritz Haeg
• Interviews: Richard Scott, National Wildflower
Centre, senior project manager, Kenny McNevin, local resident; Ken Rogers, author The Lost Tribe of Everton; John Hutchison, Friends of Everton Park; Tom Corbett, local journalist; James McCarthy, local horticulturist; Gemma Jerome, environmental entrepreneur; Russell Start, local resident; Clare McCormack, local resident
Shirley and Jack Bird, Richard Cass Associates, Friends of Everton Park, Beth Harper, Brenda and John Hibbert, Masha Godovannaya, Frank Kennedy and Sam Perry, Everton and District History Society, Peter Woods and Frances Ryan
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