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Going Green: Finding Green in a City

Explorer B

Sometimes, finding the green space in a city can be a real adventure.  But it’s worth it; not only is being in nature fun, it also can have huge benefits for our physical and mental health.

Studies have shown that having access to green spaces can lower our blood pressure and heart rate, reduce stress, and make us happier, more creative people.  Plus, spending time in an outdoor space usually involves some kind of physical activity like walking or hiking or even volunteering with local conservation groups, which helps us keep our bodies healthy and fit.   

Make your own adventure and spend some time in your local park or forested area.  And if you’re vacationing in a Southwest city this summer, consider visiting these popular urban parks.

Portland: Washington Park
Located just outside of downtown Portland, Washington Park contains 400 acres of trees, gardens, trails, and attractions like the Oregon Zoo and the Portland Japanese Garden.

New York City: Central Park
An iconic landmark in Manhattan, Central Park offers dozens of fun activities for the whole family.  Take a ride on the carousel, play a game of baseball, or hike through the park’s 80 acres of woodlands.  If you’re seeking to escape the city’s noisy environment, visit the park’s eight designated “Quiet Zones.”

San Diego: Balboa Park
Home to the San Diego Zoo, Balboa Park contains almost 20 gardens and plenty of museums and recreation centers to enjoy.  Rated as one of the best parks in the world by the Project for Public Spaces in 2003, you won’t want to miss Balboa Park the next time you visit San Diego.

Chicago: Lincoln Park
This park’s location on Lake Michigan provides a perfect place for boating or hanging out on a public beach.  Chicago’s largest public park, Lincoln Park, also includes numerous recreational facilities and the Lincoln Park Conservatory.

Washington, D.C.: Rock Creek Park
Next time you visit our nation’s capital, take some time to hike in Rock Creek Park.  You can have a picnic or go on a bike ride before visiting the Rock Creek Park Nature Center and Planetarium.

What are some of your favorite parks?  How do you enjoy urban green spaces?  Tell us by commenting below or by e-mailing green@wnco.comDING!  You are now free to be green!

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