One of the ways that I think about the natural world and our daily lives is in the context of public outdoor spaces and wild lands. I wonder about the vitality of these places, if and how they are being used. So, on a rainy winter day I spread out a local map and begin ticking off the parks I’ve visited, surprised to have missed so many in the mid-sized city that I live in.
In the weeks that follow, I tramp through wetlands, survey playgrounds, and the follow trails, almost all built over old dumps. It takes a satisfyingly long time to work my way through the city’s wilds. And then, it doesn’t. Before the seasons even change my map tells me that my task is complete, I have seen the entirety of open spaces preserved by my community. I ask, is that all there is?
(photo credit Nicci Schafer-Limbaugh)