For several years, I’ve been trying to get my hands on the original map of the Bloomington Community Orchard. My first glimpse of the orchard came not from seeing the space, but from joining the communications team and helping with, among other things, website management. That team was being led by a woman who would become a dear friend, and her husband had translated the original vision for the orchard into this graphic, which lived on the website. BCO developed more complex versions of the graphic to help people identify trees, but this graphic—a translation of the original design with type created to call to mind the original artist’s handwriting–has become my mind’s map of the site. (This graphic was also further translated by me later, for inclusion in my methods piece for Geographical Review.)
To get a better understanding of the space and find visual components to support the narrative in my dissertation, I asked BCO if they could share what maps were available in their ad hoc archive. This is a big ask of an all-volunteer organization with nearly 10 years of history, but several folks volunteered to dig through their supplies. I was amazed at what they found. (Thank you, Amy, Dani, Ashley, & Josh, for bringing these documents back to the surface for us.) In addition to one of the earliest maps, I was able to piece together the evolution of the site as design team members edited the maps. See the sequence below to learn more.