Bridge Garden

On an old railroad bridge that crosses the Bushkill Creek,  I propose reanimating this structure as an elevated garden, floating above the river and the forest and fed by the water running under the bridge.  On the existing rail trusses, moss and weeds have starting to grow, a sign that this piece is happening in one form or other.  However, instead of allowing nature to take its course or planting native species which will turn brown in the winter, I am proposing that we plant a dense grove of bamboo that would create a green line across the bridge and through the forest.   A walking path through this grove would lead to a small sitting area where viewers could look out over the river and the forest.

Using bamboo instead of native plants, the garden will present itself as an entirely artificial structure in the landscape.  The form the plants, the sound of their leaves, their color in winter,  all of these characteristics will separate this space from the surrounding forest and in doing so it will create two kinds of experiences for the viewer.  From a distance, and especially in winter, the bridge will appear as a floating beacon, a line of green in the grey winter light. Inside the grove, the view of the forest will be largely obscured by the green shafts of the bamboo and its leaves, providing a semi enclosed space that will open up in the middle of the bridge.  My hope is that this momentary separation of walking through a foreign forest on a bridge above a river will allow viewers a space to reflect and to see the forest anew.

William Lamson