Monday, July 27, 2015

Five Things I Didn't Know about Parks

 1.  Bicentennial Park is part of the City of Santa Rosa park system. It's just over 5 acres and has play structures, picnic tables, and a horseshoe pit which can be adopted through the city's Adopt-A-Green-Space program.

2. Shiloh Ranch Regional Park is part of the Sonoma County park system. It consists of about 860 acres of former ranch land with trails throughout and a pond and a creek. Near the entrance, restrooms, picnic tables, a shade structure and parking lots make day use easier. I haven't yet hiked any of the trails.

3. Humans have been enacting laws to set apart areas as wilderness or nature preserves since the third century BC, when the Maurya Empire in ancient India made laws to protect flora and fauna. By the nineteenth century, western artists were portraying wilderness and park areas in ways that highlighted their value, and "Scientific Conservation" in Germany advocated using technology to help manage these areas.

4. The preservation and enjoyment of "natural" spaces like parks continues to add value to people's lives even as people's presence in and around these places changes the features and elements of the parks.

5. The United States was the first country to define legal concept of "wilderness" through the Wilderness Act of 1964, which also founded the National Wilderness Preservation System. "Wilderness" is defined in a variety of ways by different organizations, but personally, I'd call Shiloh Ranch Regional Park a relatively wild place. Bicentennial Park, though it's restful, green and a useful recreation area, isn't wild at all.