[Still in Development]

Project: Beavers
Date: Winter 2009
Location: Peaks Island, Maine.
Materials: Multiple froms of observation; Habitat Walk Images, Beaver Camera, Photographic Survey, Habitat Expansion Maps, Habitat Diagrams.
On the eastern-shore of Peaks Island the landscape is changing. The beavers that have inhabited this portion of the island for a number of years now have expanded their habitat to the point where it is visible from Brackett Street. Now their habitat includes five pond-like areas in comparison to the single pond-like area that existed prior to the beaver's arrival on the island. The leading edge of this habitat expansion seems to be on the land around Bracket Street and behind the municipal transfer station. To easily access this new habitat development the beavers have built a new lodge in a small pool off Bracket Street. A total of three dams have currently been built to facilitate the beaver's movements over their expanding territory.

My interest in these Peaks Island beaver's habitat expansion stems from the affect they are having on the landscape and the interest they have generated in local islanders. Moving through the community I have encountered stories of the beavers arrival on the island via White Head passage (a section of water that separates Peaks Island from Cushings Island). There has been rumor of plans to save and protect certain oak trees, of beaver trapping attempts, and excitement over the possibility of having water on both sides of Brackett Street. The changes they are causing to the land and the attention they are getting from the community has become an interesting entanglement.

At the moment, my research into this changing landscape lies in how ones use and relationship to the the land can act as a common denominator in the creation of social connectedness and community. The Beaver Habitat expansion is allowing these two linked types of emergent growth to be explored in real time. Thus offering opportunities to see how ones awareness of the landscape alters their understanding of place, and possibly generates greater connectedness to local communities.


HABITAT DIAGRAMS                                                                                                                                


                                                                                                                                                                 cole caswell



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