Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Enjoy Your Park ! - Part One

In my case this would be Delaware Park and I gravitate towards the play grounds, wooded hills and valleys and the meadow. I have been going to the park to both play with my toddler and as a place to enjoy nature. I love city life, the parks are part of this. They are also a great way to let you and your child enjoy ecology and earth science. Topics can include plant and animal life science, life cycles, soil chemistry-health, plant nutrition, eco systems, atmospheric and solid chemistry and how different ecosystems need to work together to benefit all of life.

For example, the Olmsted Parks managers have been letting certain areas of the park NOT be mowed. Why? Because this allows the grasses and plants to grow and self-seed. How does this benefit us? Well, wild flowers are pretty for one and it provides natural habitat for birds and wild life. If the flowers, grass and trees self-seed the tax payers do not have to pay for the purchase and labor to have them planted. Also, Think of it this way, this is a city park right? We want nature, not a mowed suburban lawn that is cut too short and then burnt by the sun to look at and play on. Suburban manicured lawns is not what I pay higher property taxes for. I want my child to have a field of wild flowers to run through. I want my child to have t picnics under trees. I want the birds in the trees and the butterflies in the meadow also. It is a quality of life issue.

These parks, with biodiversity, are also what is called an oxygen sink. It means that when you are standing in these areas you breath in a higher percent of oxygen per liter of air then you would on a busy street sidewalk. Higher levels of oxygen are good for preventing asthma and allow muscles to recover faster.

The top left picture is off Lincoln Ave at Delaware Park. The flowers have gone to seed and new ones have replaced the ones shown. The top right photo is the valley near the side entrance not far from Lincoln Ave. Unfortunately the guys with the mowers were out the week after I took this photo and seemed more then happy to remove this image before anyone else got to enjoy it. So sad. They cut the grass to unhealthy short levels too. Double disappointment. More tax dollar wasted.

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