In September, the U.S. Surgeon General, Vivek Murthy, held a press conference in which he spoke about his new campaign for walkable communities as an effort to promote physical activity and reduce health risks. Dr. Murthy specifically noted the impact that the Park and Recreation Community can play in providing walkable environments.
The Upland Design Staff have seen this prescription be effective first hand and can help with ideas for making your local green space more enticing to get the community walking. Creating destinations with art walks, community gardens, educational demonstration gardens or quiet contemplation gardens are a few examples of how this can be done. All will encourage your community to go outside!
Art, Meditation and Contemplation Gardens: Quiet outdoor places for the young and old are important to cultivate. Art installations can welcome guests and draw in users. When combined with areas to move, sit and explore, a sculpture can become a dynamic place for events or quiet contemplation. Landscaping can play an important role in the comfort and quiet a space provides. Sensory, airy or specimen plants add depth to these spaces and help define and focus a user’s experience.
Demonstration Gardens: With signage and a well-planned plant palette, a beautiful garden can be created to act as an educational tool. At a School or public meeting space, these gardens can cover a wide range of topics and be customized for any owner’s needs. Kitchen gardens form an edible landscape that can be combined with programs for teaching healthy eating habits. Rain gardens treat run-off while illustrating hydrological systems and encourage visitors to return as moisture levels and plant growth change. Native Gardens provide habitat and history while species specific gardens like Rose Gardens or Hydrangea Gardens supply visual interest.
Activating a site, whether it is with a play element, trails, or a garden will help your community to go outside and encourage healthy lifestyles. Incorporating elements for all ages and abilities will ensure that everyone has the chance to ENJOY!