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26 May 2016 Green Spaces
Today my family and I are blessed to live in a city that has learned from the past and has incorporated green spaces into its very fiber. When I was a child (during the Dinosaur Age, as my kiddos like to call it), my family lived in Dallas Texas.
Texas is a magnificent state in many ways, but eco-consciousness had not caught on there in the 1960s. Visiting the downtown and industrial areas was a study in bleakness. Downtown was at least lit up during the winter holiday season, since people still shopped there at that time, but otherwise, I remember it as being gray and dusty.
Today in Denver, there’s a pedestrian shopping mall downtown. It’s a fun place with all sorts of stores and restaurants lining a paved mall, and it’s dotted with trees and flowers in planters.
People from all walks of life and many different places stroll along the mall walks, while a free shuttle bus runs through the middle of the mall. It’s a lovely place, very unlike 1960 downtown Dallas.
Driving around in Denver, you won’t go far before you see a large green park with wide white walks throughout. These are designed to be used by bicyclists and pedestrians alike.
Often these parks are built around a reservoir, lending the coolness and beauty of a water feature, while providing drinking water to homes and businesses nearby. These parks are strategically dotted throughout the area and provide a beautiful contrast to those areas necessary for commerce or industry.
While I’m not a proponent of more government, I do like the results of the green spaces program. One of our modern problems is the lack of nature in our world. We lack the restful places for our minds, our eyes, our souls.
The city is a place that engages all our senses. We see, we hear, we smell, we feel things all about us, incessantly grabbing our attention and relentlessly refocusing it constantly. Stress and anxiety produces fight-or-flight responses in our beings that keep us alert and unable to relax.
As enjoyable as it can be to partake of the many city delights available, there is a deep need in our souls for the greenery of parks, the cool and refreshing shade of trees and the lovely cool breeze flowing off the watery surface of a lake or reservoir.
I think one of the things I’ll try to do more of this summer, is spend time at our nearest park. It’s beautiful, clean and has lovely views from the various benches and tables scattered about. There are few people about on weekdays and I want to take advantage of its availability. It’s a quick and easy fix for stress or depression.
Do you have something similar near your place? I wonder how widely available are clean and attractive parks and how often they are used by most people.