I spent #NationalRelaxationDay the same way I am lucky enough to spend most days in my hometown, enjoying its beautiful and well-designed parks.
Without much effort, I can jog through three gorgeous parks on my morning run. On Tuesday evenings, my mom and I like to plant our folding chairs at Pierce Park and listen to the City Band perform. I can sit on a dock at Lutz Park on late afternoons and ponder life as the river traffic flows past.
My young friend and I like to hunt zombies both at Erb Park and in the ravine near Peabody Park. We also love the handicapped accessible playgrounds at Erb and Memorial Park.
My mom recently re-discovered the walking and biking trails through Plamann Park (a county park, I know, but still a welcome asset to our neighborhood).
I am a big fan of yoga in the park, and the new amphitheater at Jones Park, the kayak and stand up paddle board launch at lower Telulah Park and the skateboard park at upper.
All of this costs us lucky users nothing but a little carbon dioxide that we get to trade for fresh, clean air seasoned with the sound of laughter, leaf rustles and the happy clang of swings.
When I was young, I had a conversation with a young man my family hosted. On his last day in Appleton he borrowed a bike and rode around Appleton taking pictures of parks.
Then about 10-years old, I asked him why he had taken so many pictures of the same thing.
“I’ve never seen so many parks before,” he said. “You don’t know how lucky you are.”
From that day forward, I did.
Thank you, Appleton Parks and Recreation, for all the planning, budgeting, maintenance and clean up that goes into the 29 parks and associated trails that make this city so great in any season, particularly, on #NationalRelaxationDay.
Who’s up for an evening stroll?