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New York Park Exploits Vanishing Amazon Resource

The group behind the creation of High Line Park in New York built all of the seating and decking with wood from the Amazon Rainforests.  Ipe, the type of tree being used in the park, only grow around 1 or 2 trees per acre, forcing loggers to tear down paths to cut down these dispersed trees.  Although 80% of the Amazon logging is done illegally, the group insists that the Amazon wood was a superior choice because it was taken from a forest certified by the Forest Stewardship Council.  However, research shows that the depletion of rainforest trees causes the forest to dry out, burn, and disappear, despite the fact that certification may exist for logged areas.  Different types of economically friendly resources exist, such as recycled plastic lumber, and could be used in exchange of the rare rainforest wood.

Sources:

Doody, Tim. “High Crime on the High Line: Why is NYC’s Highest-Profile Park

Using Amazon Wood.” Alternet. N.p., 5 Sept. 2009. Web. 15 Sept. 2009.      <http://www.alternet.org/story/142327/>.

Student Researchers: Jillian Harbin & Abbey Wilson

Faculty Instructor: Kevin Howley, Associate Professor of Media Studies, DePauw University

Evaluator: Tim Cope, Department of Geosciences, DePauw University

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