For this assignment—”make observations at the Saint Louis Zoo and produce a map to show what you saw”—I spent a couple of afternoons at the zoo, taking note of every animal not in a cage. You may notice that the animals I found are boring and familiar: pigeons and squirrels. The Zoo grounds, outside the meticulous reproductions of exotic environments, are covered with the same mixture of pavement, grass and trees as a typical block in St. Louis. It’s an inhospitable environment for animals which don’t thrive in all human settlements. I find it poignant that, in order to display animals in Forest Park, the city replaced 90 acres of woods with an environment that only a few human-tolerant species can survive. Don’t misread me here: I know that zoos do great conservation work and provide an immensely valuable opportunity for citizens who can’t go to true wild areas. The St. Louis Zoo is one of the best. This experience just taught me that, for all our landscaping and architecture, our society really only knows how to make one kind of environment.