Walking with the Glenridge Quarry

Encounters with geese

We often walk to the clay-bottomed, borrow pit pond at the northern side of the Quarry site. There is a wooden boardwalk that stretches out overtop the water and the children lean over the railing with excitement when the ducks and geese swim near. But there is a distance that is not transgressed when we remain on the boardwalk. What kinds of pedagogical thinking does the boardwalk stifle? How might our pedagogical thinking shift if we think about the boardwalk and rails as enforcers of hierarchies – of humans as observers and knowers and managers?

Today we walked to the western edge of the pond to a place without fencing, where we stood at the water’s edge. A group of geese floated over, closer and closer to the bank. What might they want? One of the educators suggested that next time we bring food for them, but how we might we trouble this proximity to enable a different kind of response? One that disrupts stewardship narratives between humans and animals. The geese made it known that we weren’t wanted there and so we retreated.