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The recent Pokémon Go craze demonstrates how a slight shift in perspective can bring a new level of awareness to something we would have otherwise passed by. It’s hard to imagine how a video game could promote the wonders of the great outdoors, but as people are following their phones to earn PokéCoins, they’re also being introduced to destinations near and far that they have not yet explored.
I recently downloaded the game and was excited to see what nearby landmarks were PokéStops and Gyms. My quest to catch my next Pokémon led me to discover a rich resource right in my backyard –the Plymouth Parks System. I wandered over to Hilde Park and Memorial Gardens and found 10-20 other adventurers doing the same thing. Exploring the park, I had a chance to admire the well-maintained trails, the beautifully planned landscaping, and the impressive monuments. The experience opened my eyes to the excitement that comes with discovering these not-so-hidden gems (and Gyms) all around me.
I am fortunate enough to live in a state and metropolitan area that are known for their lakes and parks. In fact, 94 percent of Minneapolis residents live within 10 minutes of a park, and in 2013, Minneapolis was named the nation’s best big city for public parks by the Trust for Public Land.
The city of Plymouth is a suburb that mirrors the same level of investment in maintaining its public spaces. The city has 65 parks in its system covering nearly 1,700 acres. Along with special use parks, playfields, and facilities, Plymouth has 43 neighborhood and school parks and is developing and expanding the Northwest Greenway.
Some spots I’ve marked for my next adventures, include:
Whether it’s to find yourself a Pikachu or just enjoy the great outdoors, now is a great time to catch all of the benefits our local parks have to offer.