Green Living: Spring a good time to brush up on park life

Spring break is over and class is back in session, but the gradually warming weather opens up a world of opportunity once again.

Spring break is over and class is back in session, but the gradually warming weather opens up a world of opportunity once again.

One of the greatest things about warm weather is being able to enjoy the outdoors. If you can’t stand being inside anymore and the grass next to the Bell Tower just isn’t cutting it, it may be time for a trip to one of Philadelphia’s many city parks.

Spring is a great time to get outside and meet people, and hanging out at parks can quickly become a very social event. Frisbees, footballs, musical instruments, kites and picnic baskets can easily turn a walk in the park into a day outdoors. Thanks to Daylight Saving Time, we even get an extra hour of sunlight each evening.

Not only is sunlight good for your health, but it could also be the key to putting yourself in a better mood. According to a study conducted by the University of California, people lacking adequate contact with sunlight may suffer from a disorder known as Seasonal Affective Disorder. Symptoms include, “emotional depression, a drop in physical energy, increased appetite and increased need for sleep.”
Parks might not just be for play, either.

Dr. Laurence D. Martel said “cool-white fluorescent bulbs, which are used in virtually all classrooms, cause: bodily stress, anxiety, hyper-activity, attention problems and other distress leading to poor learning.”

So why stay inside? Pack up your books and catch the subway to one of these nearby parks:

Clark Park
Bounded by 43rd Street, 45th Street, Baltimore Avenue and Woodland Avenue, Clark Park is complemented by the charming University City neighborhood that surrounds it. Simply transfer to the westbound trolley at City Hall.

Fairmount Park
This park is massive. For starters, I suggest walking up Kelly Drive, past Boathouse Row, and exploring the woods. Lemon Hill is also a great place for a picnic.

FDR Park
Take the subway to the last stop in South Philly. Check out the famous skate park, and explore the greenery that surrounds Meadow Lake.

Rittenhouse Square
One of the most popular parks in Center City, Rittenhouse is four blocks west of the Walnut-Locust subway station. Check out the farmers markets from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Tuesdays, and don’t forget the hackie sack.

Michael Podlogar can be reached at

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