library atrium
Monday, October 07, 2019 Mary Paulton

What is it about parks that attract people?

Based on the Yosemite Act of 1864, the United States Congress established Yellowstone National Park in 1872 and in March of that year, President Ulysses S. Grant signed the Yellowstone National Park Protection Act into law making it the world’s first national park. Other such designations followed to preserve public enjoyment of land once transferred to private ownership for development, and in 1916 the National Park Service Organic Act was passed by Congress and signed by President Woodrow Wilson in August of 1916 to manage the national parks.  Today the national parks number 418 spanning more than 84 million acres visited by an estimated 330 million people yearly according to The National Park Foundation and The National Park Service.

On a much smaller scale, there are forest preserve areas and neighborhood parks to enjoy flora and fauna as diverse as the settings they call home. Invited to linger by a well-placed bench or dine alfresco at a picnic table, these areas bring relaxation to the most bustling of cities no matter their size.  Tree filled parks, their seasons determined only by the color of their leaves or flowery showings, provide oxygen and a shady respite on a sundrenched day.  Whether you walk, cycle or sit for a while, parks can offer us a breath of fresh air.  Until you can visit a park near you, enjoy a bit of green space at our own public library. We have a sprawling Ficus Benjamina commonly known as weeping fig or just ficus in the center of the atrium surrounded by a variety of foliage, and yes there is also a koi fish-filled water pond all under a light filtering roof.  It is serene, contemplative, and beckons us away from our hurried lives.  Stop by if nothing more than to satisfy your curiosity.  At the Lansing Library let the sound of babbling water call you to the wonder that is nature or be inspired to visit a national park via The National Parks of the United States: a Photographic Journey by Andrew Thomas. Come rain or come shine, stop by for a visit and explore what awaits you.