UBC Graduate Research

De-Interpreting Widgeon Marsh : Designs for Transformative Learning in a Regional Park Chambers, C. Duncan


There are currently plans to allow public access to parts of a large wetland north of present-day Coquitlam. Widgeon Marsh Regional Park will have the highest conservation value in the entire regional parks system and this project seeks to create spaces that provide opportunities to convey its eco-cultural significance to settler visitors. I chose three sites that could potentiate transformative learning based on their history and context. Transformative learning occurs when a disorienting dilemma catalyzes a re-examination of belief systems, and precipitates changes in behaviour and worldview. My three designs and restorations each focus on the food, fibre, and fuel provided by the landscape in order to contrast colonial pasts with Indigenous futures. This project is interested in the customs and traditions of the Katzie First Nation, whose lifeways give lie to the idea that humans cannot hope to participate creatively and rationally in protected areas. Typical interpretive signage is expensive, difficult to maintain, and most problematically tends to impose one dominant landscape narrative, and marginalize others. This project challenges conventional park interpretation with artistic, functional structures and proposes a handheld form of interpretation that can be remade, shared, and produced by any person with a relationship to the land.

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Attribution 4.0 International