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Emily Saeger featured in Freeway Park Newsletter

Freeway Park In Profile

The Faces of our Community 

Courtesy of Freeway Park Association Newsletter

Emily Adelia Saeger

Graduate student – Master’s of Landscape Architecture ‘23 @ UW & Botanical Artist

What brings you to the Park? 
Freeway Park is a unique urban park design – it spans a major freeway, connecting two severed halves of downtown Seattle, yet still offers lush well established shrubs and trees, plus the iconic Lawerence Halprin fountains, which I hope to see full of water someday!  I first learned about the park in my landscape architecture program, but my first visit to the park was in preparation for In-Bloom!

What is your favorite part of working in parks/public spaces? 
I love being outdoors – I always have, though my love for the outdoors and plants grew tremendously in my early 20’s when I started working in organic agricultural production and landscaping in the San Francisco Bay Area.  Having grown up in a city myself – Washington D.C. – parks and public space have always been important to me, defining so many memories, both consciously and subconsciously, since childhood.  Parks/public space, particularly in an urban context, at their best, are essential grounds of respite, refuge and play.  My favorite part about working in parks/public space is the spontaneous connections that can occur – the opportunity to reflect on one’s own humanity through interaction/relationship with others both human and non-human friends (plants, animals, fungi!)

What is one way you would love to see our community come together? 
I would love to see our community come together around climate change (including processing climate grief) and environmental justice.  This city, like many cities in the United States, still visibly shows the legacies of redlining through disproportionate access to green space based largely upon race and class.  As the climate becomes more variable and extreme, it is critical that we work with our landscapes – plants, water, soils, etc. – and each other, to help buffer and mitigate the effects of climate change across all neighborhoods equally, increasing access and environmental health for everyone, not just for those who can pay.

What is the intersection of art and public space, in your opinion?
I think the intersection of art and public space is conversation.  All art is a dialogue – between artist and the idea/material(s)/environment; as well as between artist and the viewer/participant.  Art in public space is an opportunity for conversation, an opportunity to imbue the everyday with spontaneity, magic and/or awareness – a new perspective, new understanding, new idea.