Date published: 6 November 2015
News outlet: The Eugene Weekly
Leo Harris Parkway divides Autzen Stadium from Alton Baker Park and so divides Oregon Ducks from mallard ducks. But even when it’s not game day, the sound volume from Autzen respects no boundary and invades Alton Baker, often drowning out the birdsong, riversong and windsong that people rightly expect to hear in the park. Long practice sessions at the stadium are generally accompanied by a soundtrack as booming as one might expect for a violent sport that lends itself to war metaphors.
As a volunteer nature guide, I am often in the park with elementary school children and I consistently encourage them to respect the plants and animals that live in Alton Baker. I encourage them to use all their senses to fully experience the park and the more-than-human world. The exercise can be a challenge for young people raised in a myopic, digital culture which is often hostile to animals and non-commercial spaces; it is made more difficult, sometimes impossible, when the relentless noise of that culture is pouring out of Autzen Stadium.