The Family (Or most of them)

The Family (Or most of them)
The Family

July 17, 2008

King's Park (Saturday --no, make that Sunday -- in the Park)


We lament the loss of green space to urban sprawl in the major cities where, increasingly, more of us live.

We talk about the importance to the planet of oxygen-producing trees and how the destruction of forests is so terrible.

We whine about living in concrete jungles, those of us that do.

Well, I rode out on my bike to my closest nearby sizeable green space last Saturday (CORRECTION--SUNDAY!).

It's called King's Park (we're still SO colonial).

Pic No. 1 below is a Google Earth image of the park itself. Pic No. 2 is a Google image from farther away, with the little yellow pin marker on the left showing where I live.

It's about a 15-minute bike ride.

It's a gorgeous expanse of green. It's beautiful, it really is. Winnipeg has many beautiful green spaces and parks. But aside from one or two of those parks, I always come away from them thinking the same thing.
Why are so few people there to take advantage of them?

Only minutes from this greenery sit houses row on row, barely 15 feet apart. As urban neighbourhoods go, it's great...mature trees, not far from the Red River.

But all of the pix I'm showing here with people in them are pretty much the only people I saw on a sunny, warm Saturday summer afternoon.
Where are all the dog-walkers letting their pets run free on the off-leash area that's as big as 20 football fields? Not one.

There was one group flying kites. There could be hundreds.

There were scattered friends or lovers (or both) out to walk the trails.
Hey, maybe they were all at home blogging on their computers or out at the cottage or watching the latest instalment of How to be a top model or something.

Hey, people are going to do what they want.

But this is their tax dollars at work. As the world pretends it's trying to go green, it's very fashionable to talk about how to be green. All the polls say the environment is one of the public's top issues.
Ask Al Gore.

Meanwhile, though, the rivers and streams and trees and huge stretches of grass that are set aside for our public enjoyment just beckon us to be with them, and in large part, it seems, we ignore them.

And I'm among those people, far too often.

And I don't know why we do that AND complain about how our environment is crumbling into a brown, oil-laden, smog-filled atmosphere that will kill us.

Who knows, maybe that will happen eventually.

But for right now, there's all kinds of beauty out there to enjoy. And it's not that far away.


  1. Yay first! fir st ever for me! sorry been drinking a bit after moving all day - but you are so right - although I do go to a lot of the parks often - specially with my dog. Haven't been to King's Park though - will have to take Zoie there with that big of a dog area. She'd love it.

  2. Anonymous4:00 a.m.

    Looks beautiful! I love spaces like that especially when there are not too many people there taking advantage of them!

    I have to say that I think in todays "fast life" its a minority that appreciate that type of space sadly, or even have the time to take it all in.


  3. Beautiful pictures. I used to live just down the road from a small but lovely park, and I used to spend quite a bit of time there. But by far the busiest park I've ever seen was Hyde Park! In the middle of an English winter, hundreds of people wandered through there each day. It was wonderful to see.

    When the weather starts to improve here, I'd like to spend a lot more time outdoors. As much as I dislike this city, it does have a lot of greenery and open space. A lot of the areas around the lake are quite nice. Assuming we tolerate it here long enough, I look forward to springtime wanders around the lake!

  4. "Why are so few people there to take advantage of them?"

    Well for starters, there's the muggers, the drug dealers, the squatters, the rapists.

    That's in my city anyway.

  5. Ponygirl:

    It's a hidden jewel nestled up against the river. Yes, she would love it. :-)


    Where ya been? I agree it's the million-mile-an-hour life we all lead that keeps us away from these spaces.

    On the other hand, though -- and I'm just as guilty -- isn't that exactly why we could force ourselves to stop and smell the roses by getting out to such places?


    I didn't actually get to Hyde Park the couple of times I was in London, stupid git that I am.

    I hope you do get out to those Canberra parks, girl.


    Yeah, of course, there's always that :-)

  6. wow... what a gawjiss place, and so empty! love this pics ww!

  7. It looks like a lovely park. I think most people are busy running errands Saturday afternoon. Go back on a Sunday and you'll likely see lots more people.

  8. Angel:



    Actually -- DUH -- look at the date stamp on the pix. They ARE from last Sunday, not Saturday.

    So it's Sunday in the Park, not Saturday.


  9. Anonymous3:50 a.m.

    I will try and visit more often! I have been playing too much on line Yahtzee, I think, not giving me enough time to catch up with my favourite bloggers! lol!


  10. Laura:

    Nah, I wasn't scolding you! That would be pretty "it'sallaboutmeish."

    Ya comes when ya between your online Yahtzee.

  11. Oops, sorry. Your post said you went out there on Saturday and I believed you, Mr Journalist.

  12. Anna:

    DOH! I believed me too!!!

  13. Nice photos, Chris. I'm glad you found the time to get out and enjoy nature.

    I am going west to see daddy this weekend. I plan to take some photos of the beautiful Montana mountains and relax and unwind. After working 16 days (and some nights) straight...I think I deserve it.


  14. Laurie:

    Yep, those Montana mountains are incredibly beautiful and majestic and pix would be welcome.

    Do unwind and have a good time with your daddy. Sixteen days!!?? What are you doin', girl?

  15. god it would be awful if it was full of people! Be grateful you had it nearly to your self! :)

  16. Ziggi:

    Yeah, I know, and I agree. I'm just sayin' that so many people don't take advantage of what's there...

  17. I love it that there is no one there lol, its more peaceful..... I dont get why people do not make more use of whats on their doorsteps though, nowt queer as some folk....


  18. Toasty:

    Very peaceful indeed, which is the way I like it, but it's such a vast expanse of beauty...

    I just don't get why more people wouldn't want to be there too. Maybe I'm just a prude...

  19. I grew up in New Jersey, and still visit friends there from time to time. There is a large County park near where I grew up. I hiked through a portion of it with a good friend, and saw the same thing you just encountered. My friend says that people are increasingly afraid of mosquitos, ticks, etc. and the place is practically abandoned. It was a mob scene on Saturdays when we were teenagers. Here in New Hampshire (it's still a relief to me that no one calls it "Hampshire") the State parks are well used, and falling apart from financial neglect. There is no justice.

  20. Breakerslion:

    New Hampshire is a gorgeous state. I drove through it many years ago en route to Nova Scotia and Newfoundland from Boston.

    There ARE parks here that are super busy, especially ones outside the city near the lakes where cottages and campgrounds and swimming abounds.

    But the wide open spaces right in town seem to be almost deserted. It's disconcerting, but the way it is.

  21. Aren't you glad that you don't have to mow it?
    We took Jack for walks there quite often..I prefer it in the Winter when there aren't any other people.

    When I was young and foolish back in the 70s I used to go cross country skiing there but soon realised that the work to fun ratio for X-Country skiing is about 1,000,000 to 1 so the hell with that...

    although it was a reasonably tolerable endeavour if you were totally cheech'd & chong'd!

  22. Don to the 5th power of n:

    What, so you think you're not old and foolish now?

    Yes, I'm glad I don't have to mow it. You were often Cheech'd and Chong'd back then, I remind you.

    X-Country skiing is quite a difficult endeavour. Let's start our own club.


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