By: Allison Johnson
While reading chapter five of Julia B. Corbett’s, Communicating Nature, I could not help but visualize the types of local parks she discussed. With much help from the descriptions provided, I not only envisioned the various parks, but also began to distinguish some of my favorite parks and what type of classification they fell into. This began to peak my interest about the parks I frequent, what they are designed to cultivate and when I remedy myself via visitation.
The first local park design discussed is the “pleasure garden” (Corbett, 119). Pleasure gardens are constructed to be, “…large, open, green places to offer relief from the rigors of work…” (Corbett, 20). This style of park is supposed to represent an, “idealized agrarian scene” (Corbett, 120). Here, “Woods opened and closed around grass-defined meadows, and large sheets of water suggested the placidness of a pastoral setting” (Corbett, 120). To me the closest park I personally relate these features with is Otto Armleder Memorial Park & Recreation Center. The park is surrounded by a dense tree front, paths a curvaceous, there are may open large meadows and the little Miami river runs along the majority of the property. I often take my dog out to Otto because there is a great dog park, but I also go there to “get away”. Though it is only about a 5-minute drive from where I live, it’s serene landscape makes time slow down and life stand still.
The Second local park mentioned is the “reform park” (Corbett, 120). A reform park is designed to be an, “…inner-city, multi-purpose park and playground” (Corbett, 120). Here, “A typical reform park occupied a square city block, sometimes separated from city traffic and noise by a berm planted with trees and flowers” (Corbett, 120). Automatically, the first park that came to mind was Washington Park in OTR. It is an exact square block, there is not only a playground, but also a performance stage, pavilion, dog part, deck and water park. I find myself enjoying Washington park on days I want to be outside, but also in the city. Were I can take a stroll, let my dog make new friend, grab a drink, listen to a band and then walk over to a nearby restaurant of bar. I find Washington Park to be a great source of nature when also wanting the convenience and fun a downtown area.
The Third local park described is the “recreational facility…These parks paid less attention landscaping and more to active recreation” (Corbett, 120). This style of park was designed to keep people busy bay utilizing features like, “bandshells, stadiums, checkerboards, and swimming pools” (Cornett, 120). To me this description describes only one park, Smale Riverfront Park. Adjacent to both Bangle’s’ and Red’s stadiums, it offers an interactive water park, swings that line the riverfront, playgrounds and giant chess and checkerboards. I only find myself at Smale when I am downtown in the area either for a game, day drinking or going to an event hosted by the park.
These are all great local parks, though their amenities may vary they all provide a connection back to nature.
Corbett, Julia B. Communicating Nature. Island Press, 2006.
http://www.derfmagazine.com/events/event5029.html. Accessed 31 Oct. 2016.
http://washingtonpark.org/event/washington-park-deck/2015-11-13/. Accessed 31 Oct. 2016
https://sibcyclinenews.com/2015/07/22/columbia-tusculum-cincinnatis-oldest-neighborhood/. Accessed 31 Oct. 2016.
http://travisestell.com/2013/05/smale-riverfront-park-phase-two/. Accessed 31 Oct. 2016.
http://www.sasaki.com/project/83/cincinnati-john-g-and-phyllis-w-smale-riverfront-park/. Accessed 31 Oct. 2016.