Finding Peace Among Our Green Spaces by Jodi Baker
As a Bloomington resident for almost 20 years, I’ve explored countless local areas by going on walks around town and hiking in surrounding parks and forests, and I’m usually accompanied by my loyal walking buddy, my dog. Each walk brings a sense of calmness and new discoveries no matter the season. The cover of leaves provided much-needed relief during our recent hotter summer months. It feels almost magical during the fall to see the beautiful, vibrant colors as the leaves start to turn. The needles from the pine trees are still underneath us padding our forest paths during the winter months. And it’s an exhilarating feeling when you start to see – and hear – the signs of spring as it nears.
My husband and I live on a few acres that are vibrant with wildlife and serve as our little personal oasis. Our yard is a place for us to unwind, play with our dog, visit with one another, and entertain friends and family; it’s a place that brings me peace. While serving as a board member for CanopyBloomington, I’ve learned how to make it an even more inviting space. We’re removing invasive plants and trees in our garden and yard and replacing them with native, diverse ones, and I’ve learned when and how to properly prune branches and mulch around trees. Even though it’s still a work in progress, looking back at pictures from when we first purchased our home really illustrates the impact we are making. We can all do our small part to make our urban canopy even better for the next generation where they can find their own peace.