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Floating 'Food Forest' May Make Its Way to the Hudson River

There must be something about the hardly-bucolic Hudson River that makes people think, "Gee, I want to put buoyant public green space in that," because yet another idea for a water-topping installation is being floated. This time, the concept comes from artist Mary Mattingly, who the Observer says is working on a plan for a freely-floating food-producing ecosystem that may make its way to the Hudson River by next summer. Called Swale, the installation will, in theory, dock at different piers around the city for months at a time allowing the public to harvest food from its plants.

The project is still in the planning stages. Groups of students from Stuyvesant High School, Dwight-Englewood, and Fairfield University, and local gardeners are working on developing a planting scheme that will use wetland plants to wick water from the river, filter it, then feed the edible plants. The U.S. Coast Guard along with a nautical engineer and landscape architects are working on the project's superstructure, which may be built of shipping containers and I beams. The Observer notes that plans for the structure include a gangway entrance and walkways.

In addition to making food accessible, the installation will aim to bring awareness to the impact of large-scale supply chains and the excessive waste of food distribution practices. The project is being financed in part by A Blade of Grass, which provides resources to artists producing work that promotes social change.

· Don't Be Surprised to See a Giant Garden Floating in NYC's Harbor Next Summer [NYO]
· Swale [official]
· These Waterfront Parks May Be The Future of NYC Composting [Curbed]
· Thought Experiments archive [Curbed]