Extinction Witness began as a memorial project seeded at the close of 2011 with intent to build a website for sharing a multimedia performance memorial that writer and creative director Megan Hollingsworth produced to support an end to industrial whaling and the capture of small cetaceans for entertainment and other slave labor. Following Megan’s grief response to the 1850’s cutting of a giant sequoia called ‘Discovery Tree’, much of 2013 was spent exploring possibilities for a more reverent presence and approach to what is now the North Grove of Calaveras Big Trees State Park, California. Project focus then shifted to creative witness 2014-2016.
Word that pollinators were in focus for 2017 Lost Species Remembrance Day rekindled Megan’s vision for living - generative - memorials that support the human grieving process while protecting and regenerating intact community, from soil to canopy. The vision then coalesced when synchronicity connected Pollinator Posse and Extinction Witness early November 2017.
A chance conversation with Laura Salazar, LS Support + Design, at a cafe in Oakland, California connected Megan with Tora Rocha, director at Pollinator Posse. Their connection led to the dedication of Lu’s Memorial Pollinator Garden in Lake Merritt Wildlife Refuge as the cardinal Generative Memorial with intent to carry the legacy of two Lucille's in Generative Memorials worldround.
Whereas Lake Merritt is the United States’ first official wildlife refuge, the 1854 stripping of “Mother of the Forest” and cutting and mutilation of other giant sequoia in the North Grove of Calaveras Big Trees State Park spurred the formation of U.S. National Parks. The North Grove is high on the priority list for Generative Memorial designation that mother trees may again be properly understood and respected.