Let’s Talk About Parks: The Extraordinary Nature Knowledge Of Freedom Seekers

JUN 13, 2017

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette


Our personal and public greenspaces have rich and varied histories that have forests of information to share. Think about your own backyard or that of a friend of relative, where you spent time as a little kid. You likely remember the games you played, the smell of cut grass, the mushrooms and bugs you spotted, and the sound of crickets and tree frogs as night approached. Now think of that same space 50, 100 or 500 years ago. Others moved through the same space, playing, traveling, farming or collecting food. Every outdoor space has seen generations of wildlife or humans move through it, creating a tapestry of experiences that can help us learn about our own history. At Frick Park, one layer of that history will be revealed in the coming months as “From Slavery to Freedom Garden” comes to life at the site of the Frick Environmental Center.

In order to promote understanding of the African diaspora, the Heinz History Center and Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy are collaborating to create the “From Slavery to Freedom Garden” in a space near the solar-covered parking area at the Frick Environmental Center in Squirrel Hill. This diaspora — the forced displacement of a population from their homeland — was a result of mass dispersion of African peoples during the transatlantic slave trades from the 1500s through the 1880s. These slave trades forcibly removed more than 440,000 people from their homeland of Africa and shipped them to North America to slave owners... Read the full article