Since I was a child, my family brought me to Triad Park anytime the sky was clear and the air was warm. I have fond memories of playing on the playground with my sister and my friends. So many school field trips were spent at the local patch of wild. Throughout the years, Triad Park became my place to go whenever I needed the comforting reminder that nature is right beside me all the time, and that life is carrying on.
There are many things to do at Triad Park; you can hike on the numerous trails scattered throughout the landscape. Or if you are not in the mood for hiking, there are many places to sit and absorb the natural sights. My favorite activity to do there is walk on the main nature trail, which is a giant loop that showcases beautiful trees and a calming creek. Within the forest, there’s a network of wildlife; deer that teach their young how to use the forest to their advantage while avoiding humans. Along with deer, I have seen snakes, raccoons, and hawks enjoying the safety of a protected patch of nature.
In the springtime, my mom always points out the call of the Wood Thrush, her favorite bird, when we walk on the trail around sunset. Because it’s her favorite bird, whenever I hear its call, I think of Mom. Traditions like these help make the park have ties to my family.
I oftentimes go to Triad Park with my best friend on days when both of us have nothing better to do. We know that no matter how exhausted we are of the semester, a walk on the trail will renew our vigour and encourage us to keep trudging through homework and other trivial (in the greater scheme of things) tasks. When we don’t feel like hiking on the trail, we often lazily prop ourselves over a picnic table and take photos of ourselves to prove to social media that we don’t just live in our rooms like aging hermits (we do). Even when we do this, nature still encapsulates us on all sides; a blanket of green that shields us from the world of asphalt.
A fond memory from the park that my sister and I often recall is when we got lost in the forest after getting a burst of child-induced courage and ventured off of the trail in the goal of exploration. I only lasted fifteen minutes. My sister lasted thirty. I got the familiar mental tug to go back to my mom, because I knew she must have thought that the bears had gotten to us by now. After voicing my anxiety to my sister, she mocked my fear (valid) and told me to go back if I was so scared. So I did. I eventually found familiar ground which led me back to the picnic area that my mom was lounging at. When I told her about my adventure, she became worried about my sister’s whereabouts. Around ten minutes or so later, my sister resurfaced from the wall of trees, littered with bloody scrapes and a pouty face. Ha. This is only one of a collection of childhood stories that stem from Triad Park.