When was the last time you stood still and didn’t hear voices, traffic, or the bustle of everyday life? I bet you’re now thinking that there isn’t any place close enough to us in San Francisco where this would even be possible. That’s why I’m here to tell you that there are options close by!
You are the proud owner of over 250 million acres of land (external link) — majestic redwoods, breath-taking beaches, and erupting volcanoes. Over 100 years ago, President Theodore Roosevelt Jr. signed into action the Antiquities Act which paved way for the protection of the beautiful valleys and mountain tops of our national monuments.
Standing beside a massive tree that makes you look like an ant, instantly leaves you and your challenges feeling humbled. As you ponder in awe at their mysterious beauty and magnificence, you feel the weight of your worries lessen, and you can breathe deeply, taking in the soft, refreshing peace in the air.
I think it would be safe to assume that most everyone can enjoy a peaceful walk in the woods. Whether you are 8, 18 or 80, no one can deny the staggering beauty of giant trunks rising into a canopy of green. Mount Tamalpais State Park is one of these unique places, home to breathtaking redwood groves. It towers above the bay just north of San Francisco in Marin County. Unfortunately, places like Mount Tam aren’t always accessible to people and families of lower income and limited resources. So what can we do to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to experience this place?
We go through our lives doing similar things day after day. We wake up and check our phones, and then we go to school or work, and finally, finish our day running errands or relaxing. But there is one HUGE thing that most people don’t even see or realize is right in our backyard: There are redwood trees that we sometimes take for granted and might not really think about visiting.
According to The Outdoor Foundation, just under half (49.2 percent) of Americans participated in an outdoor recreational activity in 2013. If you have not visited a national, local or state park lately, you are missing out on a great way to engage in outdoor recreation. Visiting parks not only supports a healthier lifestyle, but also an opportunity to learn.
Although this park may be small in comparison to others, it is not lacking in variety of activities and scenery. From mountain biking to attending an outdoor play, this park has opportunities for people of all ages to enjoy, all while being removed from the bustle of the surrounding cities. Go to Joaquin Miller Park to discover the magic of the redwoods. Just minutes away from San Francisco and East Bay towns, you can take advantage of this local park any day of the week.
Your help is wanted and needed to increase the accessibility of parks to people of diverse cultures, backgrounds and economic statuses. National and state parks offer an experience that you simply cannot know from frequenting your local urban park. Serene naturalness, breaths of fresh air and lush trees abounding, and never-ending trails – what more can a person ask for? This begs the question, are you in the redwoods? And if not, why?