If I ran the zoo...

Submitted by lmcshane on Thu, 10/16/2008 - 11:27.


" alt="" />

Zoo is a funny word and an often sad place. Zoos let us look at the animals we compete against to live in this world. Somedays, it seems that we can all get along, afterall, and it can be a beautiful world for all of God's living things.

Monday, Columbus Day, was one of those days. I tried to avoid taking pictures of the other animals out of respect for their privacy, but truthfully the human animal show was the main attraction. Also, it was a very fine day to watch impressive clouds of buzzards hovering over the Big Creek Valley.


" alt="" />


44510003.jpg29.58 KB
44510007.jpg25.06 KB
44510013.jpg90.24 KB

Walking clubs

The councilman says he will work on a special pass for seniors, so they can enjoy the sky walk pictured above.  If you live nearby, the zoo is an excellent, safe place to walk and talk and enjoy the day.

Teachers know this

MM won't mind my publishing her comments here (I hope)...

this green holds real value
"A study conducted at the University of Illinois shows that children with
ADHD demonstrate greater attention after a 20-minute walk in a park than after a
similar walk in a downtown area or a residential neighborhood
During the walks, all of the children were unmedicated ... ' and we
were surprised to see that the dose of nature had effects the same size or even
larger that the dose of medication.'"
MM, you will be glad to know that the teachers at Denison School in the CITY know this, too.  Despite, the many, many obstacles (permission forms, coats, allergies...unloading kids with allergies and without the forms and coats on other teachers) they make the effort to walk outside twice or more times a month to visit the library.  I applaud these teachers for giving kids time to be outside and time to appreciate a beautiful day. (BTW, I would say that Brooklyn Centre qualifies as "park" and our friends/neighbors are working to officially get that designation--we are bordered by the Cuyahoga Valley, Riverside Cemetery greens, WC Reed Field, Calgary Park and the Big Creek valley .  


Brookside Park

Your post reminded me of many years ago, Laura, when Mayor Mike White and his brother, Nick wanted to give park land to the Soap Box Derby. If they did that, the beautiful stand of trees to the south would have been destroyed exposing the adjacent neighborhood.

The officials expounded on the virtues of organized sports such as baseball and the soap box derby. When it was my turn to speak, I asked this question what was wrong with children walking through the woods with their parents stopping to smell the flowers, watching the wildlife, learning the beauty of silence?

Not one official answered but the crowd of mostly 60+ clapped and cheered. Thanks for sharing with me that our teachers at Denison know the benefits of a brisk walk in the fresh air.

Protecting the green that nourishes us

Scenic though the Brooklyn neighborhood is, it would be even nicer to have Brookside Park kept as natural greenspace, not used for new parking lots and entrances for the zoo. In the study it was real nature exposure which provided the greatest benefits, beyond just exercise and fresh air.
These days we need to hang on to our green - land and money both. And leaving well enough alone is cheap compared to constructing and maintaining buildings (preserve the ones we have, already)! But money and power are strong drugs, too.

Parks and baseball and bikes

MM--I had an interesting conversation with an avid, well-to-do mountain bike enthusiast* on Thursday night and, of course, he wanted to know why the Metroparks doesn't encourage mountain bikes.

Well, it's a complicated topic, but I suggested to him that he might consider raising the funds needed to acquire lands specifically dedicated to mountain bike trails. In the founding of the Metroparks, horse enthusiasts shaped the acquisition of park lands and they earned the right to exercise their sport in the Metroparks. I futher explained to the MTB enthusiast that the Metroparks can not be all things to all people. Most importantly, the Americans with Disabilities Act determines a lot of the design and lay out decisions made by the Metroparks and I can tell you that seniors and mountain bikes do not mix well.

Do I wish the Metroparks spent more of our money acquiring and protecting ecosystems in Cuyahoga County. YES.

Do they go overboard on golf courses and recreational services traditionally provided by country clubs and municipal government. YES.

But, does the Metroparks attempt to balance the multitude of user requests by creating a park environment friendly and safe to children, adults and seniors of all cultures? YES.

The Metroparks can do better and citizens need to demand reform of their board structure and administration and the awarding of contracts. Nonetheless, I am glad that I have Brookside Park in my backyard. And, ball diamonds are not far removed from the historic human use of the Big Creek bottomlands.


*The world is not a playground.