I love Memorial Park. I recently moved to a much more urban neighborhood than where I previously lived and I have rediscovered this gem! At 6:30 in the morning, there is a whole city at Memorial Park – people and dogs of all shapes, sizes, ages, ethnicities. On a recent morning, I saw marathon runners, an ex-Secretary of State and his wife, an elderly gentleman with a walker being encouraged by an equally elderly best friend as well as moms pushing strollers and those like me, an empty nester just trying to keep some of those unwanted pounds off. There is encouragement simply in the numbers and the diversity.
The park at that time of the morning is best described as “ethereal.” As the sun rises, there is a
beautiful mist over the golf course, rabbits grazing by the side of the trail and egrets foraging for critters in the ditches. I will admit that one morning last week, in the torrential rain, I was the only person brave enough (read: stupid enough) to be out there walking and fording the streams. All of this beauty is in the midst of one of the largest cities in the United States.
I generally walk on the three mile loop early in the mornings but can be found on the weekends enjoying a hike on the multi-use trails on other side of Memorial Drive with my husband and occasionally my son and daughter in law. Hiking on those trails that are nice and shady in the summer because of the tree canopy makes you feel as if you have been transported out to one of the state parks. All of the trails are beautifully maintained but not manicured. There is a great balance between “natural” and “accessible.” Currently, because of the drought that we experienced a few years ago, there is a lot of clearing and mulching and replanting and I’m so glad that the city fathers recognized a need for this green space in the midst of this great, growing city.