It seems the way to create new public spaces in New York these days is to float them in the rivers. First there was the +Pool, then Pier55, and now we introduce to you Swale, a floating food forest that may grace our waters next summer.
The New York Observer reports that artist Mary Mattingly is looking to embark on the project, which will “be created with collaborators and built from repurposed shipping containers, will stretch 50 feet across and will feature a gangway entrance, walkways, and an edible forest garden.” The floating garden will move around to different docks in the harbor to serve various communities. Local students and gardeners are working on a wetland plant base that will filter the river water to help grow edible plants.
Swale is being developed through the nonprofit A Blade of Grass, whose mission is to “provide resources to artists who demonstrate artistic excellence and serve as innovative conduits for social change.” Mary Mattingly is one of the organization’s 2015 fellows. She works in sculpture and photography, focusing on environmental, economic and political change. Last year, Mary created WetLand, a partially-submerged house boat on the Delaware River that served as artists’ residences.
Currently, a nautical engineer, landscape architects, and the US Coast Guard are working to design and test Swale, but it’s expected to be finalized by the spring. On the project website, the Swale team says, “It is our hope that what begins as a form of art can transform into a cooperative space for harvest, and continue to pave pathways for public food grown in public spaces in New York.”
- Pier55 Floating Park Gets New Renderings and Updated Design Details
- “Plus Pool” Will Let You Safely Swim in the East River
- Jellyfish Barge Floating Greenhouse Purifies Polluted Water While Growing Edibles
All images via Swale