Thursday, March 04, 2010

Pausing to appreciate Los Angeles parks

Ok, I know it's something we see everyday - trash on the side of the road. Here in LA, and everywhere across the country, there's litter. It's a sad reality of the world we live in. But, I don't think I've ever been impacted so greatly as when I was at Balboa Park a couple weekends ago. I think we've all seen those demonstrations of what the bottom of our rivers, lakes and oceans look like with trash. What I saw in real life was unbelievable and unforgettable.

I decided to take my dog out for a walk around the loop at Balboa Park, and as we crossed over a bridge, I took a look out on the river and noticed all of this "stuff" hanging from the tree branches. My first reaction was, someone had the crazy idea of toilet papering the river. Then I realized it was all trash - plastic bags, paper, candy wrappers...Both sides of the river were lined with garbage.

About a mile later on our walk, we came to another bridge and I saw the same thing. Where did all of this come from? Of course, the rain had washed it all into the river! It was shocking and breathtaking for me - and not in a good way. It reminded me how much impact my actions can have on the greater surroundings around me. The point of this is not to be preachy about picking up garbage and litter. Rather, it's a reflection of how this moment, when I decided to stop and appreciate my surroundings, made me realize that even in this great big city of concrete and cars, LA has a lot of natural beauty, something I often take for granted. While it was sad to see the plants bespeckled with garbage, it did make me appreciate our parks and wildlife more.  

We typically share information about arts and cultural events, but ExperienceLA also has a lot of parks and recreational opportunities on our calendar. As the days get longer and the weather gets warmer, consider checking out park events and see the greener side of LA.


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