Parks play an important role in the life of a city and during the month of June, I will explore the relationship between this community and its parks.
June is Recreation and Parks Month and during the month, I plan to visit one of Campbell River’s city parks every day and through words, pictures and video, explore what makes each park special either because of its physical setting or its meaning to neighbourhoods and residents.
Parks play a key role in getting children (and adults) active and fit as well as enjoying the outdoors. There’s concern in modern society that our children are losing that connection with their environment and parks are a key link to the outdoors, as well as staying healthy and active.
The City of Campbell River is celebrating Recreation and Parks Month with a number of activities spread throughout the month and parks play an important role in that.
There was be a kickoff event Saturday at Centennial Park (Alder Street and 4th Avenue) with the introduction of new toys and sports equipment in the publicly available play box. Recreation leaders were onsite with activities and games, including an obstacle course for children to encourage fundamental movement skills.
I began this month-long exploration of Campbell River’s parks on Saturday, June 1 with a look at one that has special meaning to me and my family. Hilchey Park was a favourite neighbourhood park to take my kids out to play on the little park’s playground equipment. Hilchey Parks is an example of parks that were once known as “tot parks” because they were small and catered to neighbourhood kids. Tot parks were dotted throughout the city.
On Sunday, I took a walk in Ken Forde Park, probably one of Campbell River’s most heavily used parks. It’s heavily used because it’s the access to the community’s most popular place to have beach fires – until the inevitable summer fire ban is proclaimed.
Throughout the month, I will look at all manner of parks, keying on the diverse nature of the city’s parks, whether they’re playgrounds, shoreline, athletic or natural.
That’s one thing Campbell River has to its credit is a wide variety of parks from little tot parks to playing fields to ones taking advantage of natural areas like McIvor Lake, Dick Murphy Park and Willow Point Park.
It’s going to be quite an undertaking for me, a guy who has the attention span of a squirrel. But being as this is a celebration of the great outdoors as much anything, it won’t be hard to find the motivation. And that’s the thing about this, eh? It’s all about getting out and getting some fresh air, go for a walk and enjoy nature – even if it is cultivated nature, manmade, so to speak. The purpose of Recreation and Parks Month is to encourage fitness and wellness generated through activity. And it doesn’t have be vigorous activity to be beneficial. A walk in the park, what could be easier?
I’ve spent many an hour at local playing fields shooting sports for the Mirror but I’ve never focused on the other amenities the city’s parks have to offer. I’m looking forward to it. I’m particularly interested in how and why they were created and how they got named.
Follow along and feel free to send in your suggestions of parks that are special to you as a resident for whatever reason. Send your suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org or contact the Mirror on Facebook at @CampbellRiverMirror.
Watch for this series in a number of platforms – www.campbellrivermirror.com; the print edition of the Campbell River Mirror, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.