At first glance the Eden Project in Cornwall England looks like it would be more comfortably be at home on Mars rather than the quiet English countryside, but it is entirely earthly.
The Eden Project began in 2001 in an old clay pit that looked like this as a work of ecological restoration and public education. Ten years later the project has transformed the clay pit from a degraded and exhausted environment to something like… well… Eden.
The Eden Project consists of two large biodomes which house an amazing range of biodiversity for such a small area, and an outdoor garden with seasonal plantings. The two domes are dedicated to rainforest and mediterranean flora and are almost as dense with signs and little educational tidbits as they are with plant life.
Dr. Tony Kendle, Foundation Director of the Eden Project said,
“…if this place becomes no more than an upmarket theme park it will all have been the most gigantic waste of money. We intended to create something that not only encourages us to understand and to celebrate the world we live in, but also inspires us to action. Eden isn’t so much a destination as a place in the heart. It is not just a marvellous piece of science-related architecture; it is also a statement of our passionate belief in an optimistic future for mankind.
Is the Eden Project really a recreation of Eden? No.
It and the rest of the world this side of the fall are decidedly east of Eden. But it is a picture of how we might care for this groaning world and how we might take a situation that was really degraded and work to make it flourish.