Classroom Resources: Writers’ Block

By Jenny Price
April-June 2007 (Vol. 8, No. 2)

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Discussion Questions

  1. What is environmental justice? How does it relate to Los Angeles as described in this article?
  2. What is Jenny Price’s basic beef with nature writing as a genre?  Does she feel that it has ignored cities? Focused too much on concepts of the “wild”?
  3. The nature writer Price refers to is Henry David Thoreau, and specifically his writing about his time living on Walden Pond. Have you read this book? Do you agree with Price’s critique that “Nature writers have largely ignored the resources we use and who uses them”? What other nature writers have you read?
  4. Do you believe that a city like Los Angeles can be a place where biodiversity thrives? What kind of biodiversity is likely to do well in an urban environment? What kinds of planning and practices could help a city to become better habitat for plants and animals, and restore ecological processes?

Websites for Further Information

Urban Nature in the News

  1. Washington D.C.  http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/04/28/AR2007042800922.html
  2. San Jose  http://www.mercurynews.com/politics/ci_5778685

Peer-reviewed Literature

  • Grinder, M.I., and P.R. Krausman. 2001. Home range, habitat use, and nocturnal activity of coyotes in an urban environment. Journal of Wildlife Management. 65: 887-898.
  • Soule, M.E., D.T. Bolger, A.C. Alberts, J. Wright, M. Sorice, and S. Hill. 1988. Reconstructed dynamics of rapid extinctions of chaparral-requiring birds in urban habitat islands. Conservation Biology2: 75-92

Key Concepts

  • Urban habitat
  • River restoration
  • Nature writing
  • Sustainability in urban environment
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