COSA Conference session notes transcribed

At COSA 2019, I led a session “How Far is Too Far” that was a facilitated dialogue between participants centered around “at what point does preservation or restoration become manipulation?”

I promised participants I would transcribe some of the brainstorming and share. In doing so, I realized the document was an interesting collection of ideas, and illustration that many of us struggle with similar questions. I also thought it could be good fodder for some of you to come up with future sessions topics. There’s a lot of these I’d be interested to know if someone has tried them, found alternatives, etc. If you are interested in the document, you can find it here: It is anonymous, has no answers and no filter ‘judging’ the reactions and ideas people came up with, and does not have any positions I’m advocating for or against. Take it for whatever you get out of it! Some of these may be ‘standard practices’ for you, but others might have question or curiousity you can help answer at a future workshop.

For context: we started by discussing the first time (or a poignant time) when we realized we were visiting a park or landscape that was heavily managed but ‘seemed’ natural and how that realization impacted our experience – some were inspired, some fascinated, some dismayed . . . We looked at a variety of technique currently in use on a variety of landscape ranging from traditional resource management techniques to those that seem highly intrusive. Then we used a variety of techniques to share thoughts and ideas about how we felt about the work we ARE doing. Are there things we do on a daily or weekly basis where we wonder if its valuable, ethical, sustainable? Then we shared ideas of “what if we COULD do something” and finally, how could we start the process of deciding if we SHOULD try something.



Skot Latona, Manager of South Platte Park
South Suburban Parks and Recreation
3000 W Carson Dr Littleton, CO 80120 | 303.730.1022 x61011
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