This is our 5th of 6 posts about playing and learning in the urban outdoors for Nature Rocks. Part 1 was an introduction to urban outdoors, followed by University Campuses, Natural Playgrounds, and Greenways.
Urban Outdoors: Downtown
Let us just go ahead and admit that just as with some synthetic playgrounds, downtown areas are not always ideal areas for connecting with nature. However, even in the most concrete ridden city, you are bound to be able to find something natural. For example, in the Nashville downtown area we have the capitol grounds, the bicentennial park, courthouse lawn, the Cumberland river, riverfront park and the new Cumberland Park being developed just on the other side of the river (across from downtown).
Speaking of the river, there’s also a very cool pedestrian bridge. Pedestrian bridges are fairly easy to find in many cities with rivers, and will often provide for great views. Bridges are fun locations to work on concepts like far/near, high/low, up/down, big/small, etc. These are ideal spots to look for birds, discuss the water currents moving below, and feel the extra burst of wind that we don’t always get closer to the ground.
If you live in a downtown area, or end up spending most of your time there, these types of attractions can provide a much needed connection with nature. It won’t always be the same connection you might feel on a remote trail. However, if your feeling deprived of that experience then taking a walk through a downtown park or on a pedestrian bridge can feel just as good, and refresh just as well.
Does your downtown provide any fun connections with nature? What are some of your favorite nature-based downtown games and activities?
There is an amazing (and growing) community of family outdoor/nature bloggers, and we want to introduce you to a few. Although we've never met them in person, we count on them as resources and friends.
Traci Lehman is the mastermind of the WalkSimply.com. Not only are her blog posts thoughtful and inspiring, but her photography and art are quite remarkable as well. She and her family love to be outside, and we feel lucky that they take the time to share it with us. Please show Traci and Walk Simply a little Facebook and Twitter love (Traci always tweets great content - hers and that of others). When you go visit her site, make sure to see Traci's post entitled, "Afternoon Walk: Downtown San Juan Capistrano," it will be a great introduction to the rest of Walk Simply.
Thanks for stopping by!
Pablo and Nea