We are fortunate to live in a metropolitan area with an abundant and beautiful large tree canopy. In other words an urban forest--teeming full of life. In the summer when everything is in full bloom, you can almost drive from one end of the city to the other completely under trees.
I confess, this is actually something I try to do once in awhile. When traffic is bad and it's going to take me awhile to get home anyway, I happily meander my way home, zigzagging from one tree-lined street to the next. And if it's not too hot, I slow down the car and roll down the window--to smell the trees. The air really is fresher and I arrive at my destination in a far better mood.
Over a hundred years ago, when our fair city was being developed and wagon train trails were turning into actual paved roads, the first subdivisions were mapped out in the areas we now know by names such as the Central West End, Clifton and Compton Heights, and Shaw Place in the City and Clayton and University City in the County.
Even though the "Country" was closer in to the urban area of the time, there were actually fewer large trees. The tree canopy in the immediate environs was much, much less. Even later developments into "County" regions tend green-up as an after thought.
Unlike London, which first proposed its Metropolitan Green Belt in 1935, at the beginning of its suburbanization, most cities weren't developed with green spaces in mind, unless it was in the form of a city park like Lafayette and Tower Grove.
In today's world when there's so much depletion and destruction of our National Forests and other Green Spaces, it's at least comforting to know that the older neighborhoods in many metropolitan areas are covered in urban forests.
It's also great to know that organizations like Great Rivers Greenway are working creatively and proactively with communities to promote, preserve and connect the green spaces in their citys. When you stop by the Market this Saturday, stop by their tent and ask them about the "Great Rivers Greenway District" and the "Ring of Water" which includes plans to connect over 600 miles of green spaces!
June 16 at the Clayton Farmer's Market:
Farm to Forest Bike Ride led by Mesa Cycles!
Women's ride leaves at 7:30am from Center of Clayton parking lot off Topton Way. Meanders through tree-lined streets to Forest Park and back. Includes Market Coupons for Participants
For ride info call Traci at 314-645-4447
Music at Ten: Lucky Dan and Naked Mike
Chef Demonstration: Mathew Borchardt of L'Ecole Culinaire Academy
Children's Activity: St. Louis Mid County YMCA
Bethesda Barclay Community Tent: Great Rivers Greenway
And---Remember to bring Dad to the Market for Father's Day!