My 9-year-old asked me to pull our bikes off the winter bike hooks in the garage this past Saturday, marking the passage of another season and inadvertently leading to another weekend of youngsters reminding me of life’s important lessons.
Lorena and a friend wanted to go to the library and accidentally rode off with no locks and no adult supervision. When overly-protective dad couldn’t find the two girls until about 20 minutes later, I scolded them a little too roundly, accusing them of not having been where they said would.
It turns out they had been, but finished so quickly – returning and checking out items, then apparently reaching 9-year-old boredom thresholds – that they headed back home. Their dismay at the unfair scolding was evident, so I sought forgiveness with ice cream at Emy J’s.
Parks, bike paths, sidewalks and other things that encourage us to interact more with our neighbors and the natural world are, simply put, some of the best things communities can do.
Here are a few pictures from a couple of great little neighborhood nature preserves over in Marshfield, a community where good health is a way of life. As the home of the renowned Marshfield Clinic, the community also knows how good health is good for the economy and business.
I headed out to these parks early last week primarily just to get away from our toxic political environement for a few hours. Being in these neighborhood jewels — one next to a retirement home, the other in a sleeply suburban neighborhood — gave me plenty of impetus to think over who uses parks and why they’re irreplaceable in community life.
I discuss some of these issues in last week’s Portage County Gazette column (available in full-text form).
(Note: It seems I mistakenly put 7 p.m. instead of 6:30 as the start time for the Nov. 3 Revisioning Point meeting in my original column. Please pardon my error, which I regret.)