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Monday, March 23, 2020

Making the Most of Outdoor Spaces

Guest Author

Making the Most of Outdoor Spaces

By Nelson Beckford, Program Director, Neighborhood Revitalization and Engagement, The Cleveland Foundation

Funny to think that not long ago I was on a panel at the Friday Forum talking about the importance of social infrastructure. Park and public spaces are a type of infrastructure.

Prior to this pandemic, I held strongly the belief that parks provide three important benefits to the public: 1. Socialization, 2. Recreation and 3. Contemplation. But with the current climate, how can we reap the most benefit from our parks?

Let me explain.

Step one: ask a close friend or family member to meet you at a neighborhood, a regional or a national park. While outside, talk, laugh, or just remain quiet while maintaining social distance. Social distance doesn’t have to mean social isolation. This checks off socialization.

Step two, I am pretty certain that will that you feel inclined to take a stroll or roll. Twenty minutes or more is all you need. This gets at recreation.

Finally, as you experience nature with all of your senses, and breathe, the contemplation part will come naturally.

(Photo: Rocky River Reservation)

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