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More urban oasises coming… and not a moment too soon!

There’s a lot to see and do this week. I’ve been seen a lot myself recently, leading to some insane concoction of meds that I’m still not quite understanding (however, they are making all of these things that are currently wrong with me bearable enough so I can catch up on work). I’ve also been told that I need to take time off. While I would normally argue with anyone attempting to get me to slow down, I may have to agree with the 1st, 2nd and 3rd opinions I’ve gotten on the subject. I figured I’d warn all of you before I go on, depending on what I end up doing for those days. I’ve seen how people start to wonder if something is wrong. I’ll fill everyone in that is interested once they’ve finally figured it out and I understand it.

Most of this current medical mumbo jumbo stuff relates to extreme stress. One of the great things about my time in Savannah was that I always had a safety valve for stress release close by. Before the days of six mile excursions for fun (or the 25-mile bike rides), there was the ability to escape into nature within the city. I never had an apartment or house while in Savannah where I could not hang out outside. In every case I was converted from the New Yorker who used parks for endless basketball games to someone who couldn’t go a weekend, even in winter, without standing out on a deck, in a landscaped courtyard, one of the downtown squares (or living rooms as I’ve heard some people refer to them) or just hanging out in Forsyth Park after making my running buddy Bobby suffer through my attempts at fitness. All of those spaces allowed for contact with nature, friends, and forced relaxation. Don’t get me wrong; I enjoy the loft that Bets and I currently live in. But I’m one of those rare ones that actually misses cutting grass, or sitting on the roof of a carport looking at the stars(despite others thinking that I didn’t like to), or listening to the symphony or the band play one half block away providing free entertainment for a courtyard party.

So, why mention all of this?

There are several efforts for recreational facilities to be created or expanded here in metro Birmingham (we’ve mentioned some of them before; click here to read about it). Now is the time to make sure your voice is heard as some of them move forward. One way is to become involved in Catalyst’s Parks and Greenspace Pillar group. This is the point where I say that I am co-chairing this group with Elizabeth Sims of Region 2020. Our first meeting (we’re not sure what to call our group just yet) is this Thursday beginning at 12 noon at the Region 2020 office (click for location). You have to bring your own lunch, but we’ll provide the drinks. We’ll be talking about some of the activities that this group wants to engage in. Come on out, pickj on the guy that writes all of this stuff online, and let’s see what we can do.

Somewhat related to that is an open house meeting TONIGHT being held to introduce Wallace, Roberts and Todd, the firm creating Red Mountain Park’s master plan. Click here to learn more information about this project from the Freshwater Land Trust’s site. If this appeals to you, show up at Vulcan Park between 5:30 – 7 p.m… did I mention it’s TONIGHT!

Once I somehow trick my body into returning to running, I’d love to be able to have additional options of places to run, hang out and meet friends. Maybe we’ll be living just close enough to have some friends over for a concert one of these days. Hopefully I’ll see you at one of these activities. Otherwise, post a comment.


Published incivic/service organizationsurban issuesurban parks