Focused Built Environment Description: Doll’s Head Trail

After following the main trail at Constitution Lakes Park for around half a mile, you stumble upon a densely concentrated assortment of weathered down objects. A sign names this location as Doll’s Head Trail. From a distance, it is easy to misinterpret the objects and assume the space is used for dumping trash. However, when you take a closer look it becomes clear that the clusters of objects were purposefully arranged together. The groups of items consist primarily of common garbage such as beat up car parts, broken sporting equipment, grimy children’s toys, shoes missing their match, rusted metal, fragmented electronic devices, and mucky bottles. For the most part, these objects are grouped together and laid out constructing an image. For instance, a plastic toy motorcycle and car whose paint jobs have become extremely faded by the elements rest in the leaves side by side. Inside of the car, there is a dirty baby doll in a twisted position with a cell phone and a glass bottle. The hood of the car, somewhat sunken into the ground, reads “DON’T DRINK & TEXT & DRIVE”. The most frequently recurring articles on the main loop of the trail are segments of grungy baby dolls. The first doll to greet you as you continue following the trail has missing limbs, appears to be charred, and is raised approximately three feet in the air by a wooden stake through its body.  The dolls you subsequently meet are not as boldly placed. Many of them are simply the heads of dolls, nestled into trees or resting on the ground, decorated by sharpie markings.  A significant number of the other objects on the trail have permanent marker writing on them as well. The writing is typically related to the articles themselves and is part of a bigger picture. For example, a popped basketball with the words, “TOO MUCH SPORTS” inscribed on it was placed inside of the frame of an old television. The writing on the objects along the loop must have been done by many different people because there is a wide variety of dissimilar handwriting throughout. The relation between the items and the text written on them in combination with the clearly deliberate placement of each article indicates that the people responsible are trying to convey something to their audience of people walking the trail.

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