Growing Greener: Parks Lifting Our Spirits

12, Feb, 2013 Rose Kennedy Greenway Conservancy

During the cold months we’re somewhat limited to project-based learning lessons in the Green & Grow classroom.  So when a sunny, and reasonably mild, Saturday appeared on the horizon we planned to head outside and discover a new landscape.

Because the weather was thought to be ‘too cold’  for going to the park, there were lots of early morning groans and grumbles.  Enough grumbling that it actually encouraged us to shorten our trip.  Even so, we had just enough time to discover some new and old features of the Arboretum.

'I love it when Zuri does impressions of Zuri'small

'it's an owl, no, it's a hawk'small

Our moods lifted as soon as we entered the park and they continued to rise through the afternoon, especially when we discovered a Red Tailed Hawk perched in a Walnut tree.   The day was just another example of how parks strengthen our connection to the natural world, and how they can affect us in positive ways.

We talked a bit about Frederick Law Olmsted’s design principles in preparation for our Planning & Design curriculum and we discussed how designers have the ability to affect visitor experience in a space.

Feeling enclosed by century old Yews

Feeling enclosed by century old yews


then the landscape opened up and we felt free

…then the landscape opened up and we felt free



Here are Humberto’s words about the Arboretum and what it means to him:

“Sometimes I feel like I’m breathing everyone else’s stale air in the city, but as soon as I step inside a park the air feels fresher and more my own.  As a child I ventured through the Arboretum with my family and dog.  Visiting brings back more than a handful of memories.  The beautiful pathways and landscape design finds a way to display beauty in every season.   On our tip today we even encountered a majestic hawk; with a brown covering over its back and a snow colored chest–an amazing site.  I feel like anyone can find something beautiful around every corner here.”


Humberto admiring the landscape.

Humberto admiring the landscape.