Posted on February 9, 2010 by Ben Welle
Quebec City's Winter Carnaval
With snow falling everywhere east of the Missouri River, we thought it a good time to further mention some things that make parks lighten the load of winter’s cold and ice.
Most of this actually involves embracing it. One example is the Winter Carnival or Festival. Whether it be St. Paul’s Winter Carnival, Ottawa’s Winterlude or Montreal’s pre-Lenten Winter Festival (taking place in its Parc Jean-Drapeau) or Quebec’s Winter Carnval, the idea is to provide lots of events and things to do both inside and outside. In St. Paul, the city’s European-looking Rice Park fills up with ice sculptures and residents search for a medallion worth $10,000 if found in the city’s parks.
In Minneapolis, the city recently started the only urban cross country ski marathon (called a loppet) that traverses the city’s parks and lakes. The big event includes professionals from around the world, but events occur for anyone to participate in. The Star Tribune has a video here of the “Luminary Loppet,” which involves a short ski or hiking course of lighted ice forms.
The coldest cities in the country cannot change their climates, but many of them have great park systems that are there year round. Might as well make good use of them to make living in the city during cold months a little warmer in spirit.
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Posted on February 7, 2010 by Ben Welle
The major snow storm that hit Washington, D.C. this weekend may have shut everything down, but festive residents in the Columbia Heights neighborhood flocked to Meridian Hill Park to enjoy the deluge of white stuff. There seemed to be almost more people in the park than normally found on a Sunday in June.
People could be found building snowmen, sledding the snow-laden stairs, building forts, having fun with their dogs, playing football, walking around, snowball throwing and just watching all of this take place. Some pictures:
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Posted on December 19, 2008 by Ben Welle
Fountains are great in the summer, but when they’re drained for the winter, their empty appearance can make a park feel unattractive and unwelcoming to users. But just because the fountain isn’t running doesn’t mean the park has to stop running as well. In fact, fountains can be adorned with decorations and lights to make them even more attractive than they are in the warmer months. In New York, the city has worked with private groups to dress up empty fountains:
Parks and private donors have joined to beautify public fountains during the holiday season by beautifying the features during their winter hibernation. Parks across the city have benefitted from holiday–themed displays featuring a selection of winter plants, including red dogwood, juniper, boxwood, spruce, white birch, yew trees, holly, juniper, and winter berries. In addition, school groups create ornaments that hang from the display. Fountains in the program include the historic Jacob Wrey Mould Fountain in City Hall Park, Joyce Kilmer Park’s fountain opposite the Bronx Borough Hall, the Columbus Park fountain in downtown Brooklyn, and the Court Square fountain in Long Island City, Queens.
Parks need not go into winter hibernation — and by beautifying them in winter it makes the holiday season in the city a pleasant one. (The NYC Parks Dept. website has a longer and interesting history on New York City’s parks during the holidays.)
Filed under: facilities, programming | Tagged: fountains, new york city, winter | 3 Comments »