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Forest Park or Boomer Park, You Can’t Sit On It

A Moody Blues Lament: Breathe deep the gathering gloom,
Watch lights fade from every room.
Bedsitter people look back and lament,
Another day’s useless energy spent. (But not for boomerPDX readers)

For many boomers in America, news of sitting too long means nothing. Sitting may harm health, but they don’t care.


Because they don’t have anything to get up for.

  • They’ve heard of the boost in vitality you get from taking the stairs instead of the elevator.

They take the escalator and call it a draw.

  • They’ve heard of the benefits of walking but can’t bring themselves to spend one more minute in their city than they have to.

So they watch their NFL football team on television and raise their arms for touchdowns and call that a workout.

That behavior would never work in Portland.

First of all, there is no football team from here playing the Cowboys, the Giants, or the Steelers. Watching teams from other cities barely warrants one arm raised, and there’s usually a beer in that hand.

Instead, Portland is the capital of getting up. There’s even a blog called the Get Up Network.

More than that, getting up is a local tradition. You find that in a city with one of the nation’s greatest wilderness parks.

Forest Park Recreation Survey, conducted by Portland State and Portland Parks & Recreation and published in February, 2012, adds important numbers to the hiking trails.

“Forest Park is visited predominately by individuals in the 25-54 age range, who are overwhelmingly white, have slightly higher than average household incomes, and have substantially higher levels of education, when compared to the Portland Metropolitan Area population.”

Sound like a baby boomer wilderness area to you? It should.

Walking the trails might be the best experience, but Forest Park has friends in special places. You can’t tour the park in your van, but Portland City Club with help from Portland Parks and Recreation makes it happen.

Do you feel like you’ve taken your last wilderness hike? You have not.

Going a step further, look at Outdoors, fresh air, and friends.

“If the public work parties do not suit your schedule, if your group exceeds 15 people, and/or if you’re looking for a more customized volunteer experience, the Forest Park Conservancy can arrange a private work party for your company.”

Once you’ve been there, you’ll go back again. And again. And again.

  • BoomerPDX Lesson: It’s enough to get up, get out, and walk. But there’s always more.
  • Better Boomer says walking in the forest beside Balch Creek is healthier than a hyperbaric oxygen chamber.







About David Gillaspie
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