Walking with the Glenridge Quarry

How might storying witness marks guide our relations with place?

Gas flare valve

This post is reproduced from the Common Worlds Research Collective’s series of microblogs. The original post can be found here: https://commonworlds.net/how-might-storying-witness-marks-guide-our-relations-with-place/

How might storying witness marks guide our relations with place? The Glenridge Quarry Naturalization Site is a former open pit quarry and landfill-turned natural park in what is currently known as St. Catharines (Brock Community Observatory, 2010). The Quarry’s fluid relation to what it means for a place to be ‘natural’ amid the ongoing context of settler colonialism and environmental degradation requires alternate ways of thinking about what it means to be in relation with place. How then might we activate our wonderings, pedagogically, if we consider the gas valves and flare stacks, landscape fabric, and the clay borrow pit pond – to name a few examples – as witness marks, as we encounter the site’s in/visible layers? Thinking with horology alongside the practice of witnessing (Nxumalo, 2016) and storying place (Hamm, 2015), witness marks point to the entanglements of time and history at the Quarry and may help us articulate the stories of human degradation and recuperation in our pedagogical work. 

Brock Community Observatory. (2010). Niagara’s natural park: The restoration of the Glenridge Quarry into a naturalization site. St. Catharines, ON: Sophia Papastavrou. Retrieved from https://brocku.ca/niagara-community-observatory/wp-content/uploads/sites/117/Niagara%E2%80%99s-Natural-Park.pdf

Hamm, C. (2015). Walking with place: Storying reconciliation pedagogies in early childhood education. Canadian Children, 40(2), 56-66.

Nxumalo, F. (2016). Storying practices of witnessing: Refiguring quality in everyday pedagogical encounters. Contemporary Issues in Early Childhood, 17(1), 39–53.

Reed, B. (Producer). (2017, March 28). S-Town [Audio podcast]. Retrieved from https://stownpodcast.org/chapter/1