EPA photograph exhibit in Dallas: Progress in environmental protection?

August 8, 2012

Let’s see what history shows.  EPA started a photographic record of environmental conditions, in 1971.  Recently the project gained light again with help of the National Archives.  Parts of the record are touring the country, and the display is available in Dallas for a week (photos added):

National “Documerica” Environmental Photo Exhibit Comes to Dallas

(DALLAS – August 7, 2012) The Environmental Protection Agency will open “Documerica” exhibit of photographs depicting environmental conditions of the past and present beginning August 7, 2012. The display arrives in Dallas after a quick stop in Austin at the Texas Environmental Superconference as part of its national tour. The exhibit will be open on the 7th Floor at Fountain Place in downtown Dallas through August 14, 2012.

(From the Documerica-1 Exhibition. For Other I...

One of the photos in the Documerica archives, looking to me to be from Texas, along Texas’s Colorado River (I have no idea whether this is one of the photographs displayed) (From the Documerica-1 Exhibition. For Other Images in This Assignment, See Fiche Numbers 27, 28, 31, 32, 33.) (Photo credit: The U.S. National Archives)

From its development in 1971, “Documerica” became the United States’ first serious pictorial examination of the environment. The project collected more than 15,000 images, documenting the environmental and human conditions of this country when EPA was starting its mission. The idea was to visually record the difference in conditions in later years, providing the public with a measurement of progress made to accomplish goals set by Congress.

Forty years later the project was rediscovered with the help of National Archives. “State of the Environment” launched Earth Day 2011 as an opportunity for the public to participate and engage in a modern revitalization of Documerica. There are more than 1,900 new images that have been submitted to EPA through Flickr.

The EPA photo project will continue accepting submissions through the end of 2013. Public entries will be considered for a larger exhibit of both projects set for March-September 2013 at the U.S. National Archives’ Lawrence F. O’Brien Gallery in Washington, D.C.

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To learn more and to follow the project, visit: www.epa.gov/stateoftheenvironment
To match images near you, a selection of the full record is available on the National Archives Flickr photostream

More about activities in EPA Region 6 is available at http://www.epa.gov/aboutepa/region6.html

Can I make time to go?

Fountain Place, in Dallas; image from Dallas Architecture

EPA’s art exhibit is on the 7th floor of Fountain Place, this building, usually listed at 1445 Ross Avenue. It’s between the Woodall Rodgers Freeway and Ross Avenue, between North Field Street and North Akard Street, Metered parking may be available; it should be a not-too-difficult walk from the West End, if done before the temperature rises above 95 degrees (as it is predicted to do each day in the next week).

The building that houses the exhibit is a landmark in Dallas, designed by I. M. Pei; fountains and trees grace the base of the building.  If you’re not a denizen of daytime downtown Dallas, it might be worth a trip to see.

Alas, the fleeting nature of the stay in Dallas means it will be long gone before any environmental science classes can be assigned to view it.

Fortunately the photographs are available on Flickr — teachers, will you let us know what devious assignments you make out of this collection of historic photographs?

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