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Oct 04


Posted on October 4, 2021 at 1:55 PM by Timothy O'Connor

Newspaper Article for September 11, 2021


Drake Simonson – Recreation Supervisor

Research shows that natural scents like roses, freshly cut grass, and pine make you feel calmer and more relaxed. Take time to relax this fall by taking in the scent of nature and get out for a round of golf at Brooktree or take a walk in one of the area parks and trails!

Now that we are a week into meteorological fall and the new school year has commenced, many people are wondering what to do until spring rolls around. With temperatures cooling and leaves changing, getting outdoors may be one of the best things a person can do for themselves. The holiday season is also rapidly approaching and can be very stressful for many people. From getting the home ready for visitors, to being in the kitchen for what feels like an eternity, to controlling kids on break who are terrorizing the house, to preparing for a vacation or trip to the dreaded in-laws…, you will want to take time for yourself and relax. This is where the outdoors comes into play! Being outdoors and taking in natural scents has shown to be very beneficial in helping individuals feel calmer and more relaxed. Fall is a great time of the year to get outdoors and enjoy beautiful scenery with very pleasant temperatures, making it my favorite time of the year to be outside. Whether taking a hike through Kaplan’s Woods, playing on a playground at one of many parks, casting a line at Lake Chase or Kohlmier, or getting in a round of 18 holes at Brooktree, there are many ways to have fun and enjoy the outdoors before the brutal cold of winter sets in.

One other reason to get outdoors is that it gives us a break from technology and the on-the-go lifestyle to which we are all so accustomed. When outside, we have a clearer, more focused mindset to hang out with friends, spend some quiet time alone, or play with a pet. Being outdoors we can also learn and enjoy a new skill or physical activity. And perhaps most important of all, we get a chance to turn off – or better yet, leave behind – our cell phones and tablets to clear out heads and break from the stress we all have each and every day. So, unplug, get outdoors to recharge, and feel refreshed.

Another great activity to do in the fall is golf! Do not put those clubs away just yet: dress for the fall conditions and get a few more rounds in this year. Not sure how to swing a club? That’s ok, give Sling golf a shot! A little lacrosse, a little baseball, a little golf, and a whole lot of fun! We have Sling sticks available to checkout for free, just pay regular daily fees. The course is still in great shape and the trees starting to turn, paints a beautiful backdrop to tee off into. Crowds are smaller and the hot, hazy, and humid days of summer will soon be a fading memory. It’s the perfect time to golf! We are all too aware of what is right around the corner, the dreaded ‘W’ word… winter. Don’t let the coming cold weather keep you inside just yet. We, as Minnesotans, know how to make the most out of whatever Mother Nature throws our way and the bright sunny fall days ahead are a perfect time to get out and hit the links.

Here are some more fun ways to enjoy the outdoors this fall and winter:

1. Make being outside a ritual. Go for a morning or evening walk every day. Remember to bring your pooch – outdoor exercise is goof for Fido too. Whether walking or jogging in your neighborhood, or on the many miles of trails we have throughout the city, just get out and move!

2. Take a vacation! For your next scheduled break, visit a state or national park – whatever landscape speaks to you!

3. Find a trail. Whether hiking or biking, there are trails around the area for you to explore. To find our trails visit the Park and Recreation website.

4. Sit outside. We’re always so on the go. The next time you need a quick break, try sitting outside quietly and just appreciate the natural beauty around you! Notice the scents, sights, and sounds as you sit quietly and focus on the moment.

5. Visit a local park. Ask others in your neighborhood which park is their favorite to visit and go check it out. You can always trade your usual gym workout for an outdoor one! Checkout the workout stations we have along the Kaplan’s Woods Parkway trail.

6. Commit to the outdoors, rain, snow, or shine. When you are layered properly, you can enjoy the outdoors in any season. Don’t forget about the fun and healthy outdoor activities available during the cold, snowy months – these are the times that we have even less outdoor interaction, but may be when we need it the most! Brooktree Golf Course, Kaplan’s Woods and Leo Rudolph Nature Reserve are all great spots to check out during the winter to snowshoe and cross-country ski. The hills at West Hills and Mineral Springs Park make for great sledding locations and do not forget about ice-skating at Morehouse Park!

Have a great fall and get out and enjoy the beautiful weather that the season has to offer! For you winter and snow lovers out there, know it is not too far away. And to all the students and teachers out there, have a great school year!

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