I am a firm believer and advocate for green spaces as having high intrinsic value for our wellbeing. When I am out and about in any city, they're the places I seek out first. We spent about 5 days at a conference in Paris some years ago. We decided to get out the city and trained to Epernay, yes champagne country and spent most of the 38 deg days hanging out in the council park, dipping our feet in the fountain, and sipping. A river cruise, and cycling made up the rest of this gorgeous time. Yes, I remember the cathedrals, rolling hills of vineyards, and warm people who we couldn't understand very well, but mostly I recall the feel of that park, people coming and going through, the hours reading and resting we did there - the simple greenness and restfulness of nature.
My point here is that Nelson has many glorious natural features, with the river, Centre of NZ, Rutherford Park and many other small parks AND a simply beautiful, peaceful, tree lined reserve leading out of the city. This is appreciated daily by biking and walking commuters coming from all parts south on the now extensive shared pathway to Richmond and well beyond, children from the neighbourhoods coming and going from school. I met a man the other day who bikes in from Hope most days, and loves the whole journey on off-road paths.
Many of the big cities of the world are now trying to integrate these spaces into what have been concrete jungles to bring back wellbeing, because they know the goodness these create. Check out the article below, which affirms what I'm saying. I want to be part of a council which continues to invest in active travel choices.
health and environmental wellbeing of green spaces
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Nelsonian of the Year 2009
Queen’s Service Medal 2010
Founding Chair of the
Nelson Tasman Housing Trust
Founding & Current Director of Victory Community Centre
(NZ Community of the Year 2010)