We are radically reimagining public space to reconnect humans with nature. In our work with local utilities, we have implemented a hub and spoke methodology. Airports are hubs, not just for human commerce and transportation, but also ecologically speaking. With a similar mind-shift, we also see transmission corridors as spokes: miles-long corridors where pollinators and plants can move through urban zones. It’s a new power grid, one which supports human infrastructure while also powering vital communities of flora and fauna.

From 2012, The Common Acre embarked on a multi-year arc focused on pollinators, with a special interest in bees. The bulk of our current field work consists of conducting surveys of bees and establishing new pollinator habitat. If we know what bees exist in our region, and their interactions with surrounding plant communities, then we can draw conclusions about sustainable practices for the future.

We’ve helped lead this work in the Puget Sound, with an emphasis on neglected spaces such as land surrounding runways at Sea-Tac airport and in the transmission corridors of Seattle City Light. How can these spaces deliver an ecological benefit?

We are sharing what we learn with scientific and professional communities, and with the general public. Through the NW Pollinator Initiative (which we co-founded with WSU), we’re supporting field classes for farmers, and “citizen science” classes for everyone.