Friday, May 27, 2011

Local Parks: More than a Playground!

Though we live in a large city, we're lucky to have some gorgeous parks tucked away within the metro area. My husband and I grew up in the country, so these have been very welcoming to us. They also have wonderful playgrounds for Tyler, some even with fenced play areas with equipment just for toddlers!

What disappoints me, is that for the vast majority of the patrons, these parks seem to be only about the playgrounds or a place to walk your dog. Whenever we go, or times when I've simply gone by myself to read a book or think, parents arrive at the playground with their children in a stroller, herd them into the playground, close the fence gate behind them, let the kids play (often while talking or texting on their phones the whole time, but that is a whole other story), then put the children right back into the stroller and head back home or to the car. Wait...there's so much more!

Now, excuse me for getting a bit preachy here but... Have many of us forgotten that city parks are also for running around in the grass? Playing with balls? Flying a kite? Running up and down hills, or better yet rolling down them? Have a picnic? Checking out the huge trees, rocks, sticks? Looking for bugs? Watching birds? The general exploring and enjoyment of nature and beautiful open space, especially when you live within a large city? I don't understand.

Tyler barely wanted to play on the playground (which was probably good because he woke later with a clear case of pink eye, not just "getting over being sick eyes" as I had thought) when we went to the park last week. He checked out trees, climbed up tree stumps, simply ran in the open space, walked up and down some big stone steps, threw balls around on the tennis court, climbed the benches, watched ants, ran down a hill with sheer joy, and spent a ton of time putting little wood chips and dead grass down a grate he discovered. We also had a lovely picnic, something we've done a several times on the grass or the lonely picnic benches, but we're always alone in our picnic pursuits.

If this is the way public parks are going, I can see, unfortunately, why so many of them seem to be closing down when it comes to cutting state budgets. Remember your local parks. Play. Explore. Relax. Remember the simple fun most of us had when we were kids!

Preaching is over. Carry on. This probably doesn't apply to many of you anyhow.  :)

1 comment:

  1. I agree with you! We go to parks all the time, and there are many days when I avoid the playground entirly! I want them to just be out in nature!