Urban Oasis: Push for fitness, fresh air draw many to parks


Ballers, joggers, tykes on trikes and those wanting a bit of fresh air are gaining a new appreciation for community parks now that they have reopened after being closed for months by the coronavirus pandemic. Although there are fewer people than normal, individuals and families are slowly returning to their favorite urban oasis, the neighborhood parks which stood deserted for most of last year when strict lockdown measures were in place.

Masked residents carefully venturing out are silently signaling a shift – things are changing after nearly a year of life turned upside down.

“I wanted to have something to do instead of just going home after work, laying down and watching TV,” said 28-year-old Niketra Bethel, who made the trek to the Southern Recreation Grounds accompanied by her six-year-old nephew, Akeem.

“You have kids out here riding their bikes and scooters, everything they got for Christmas. It’s very family friendly. It feels safe and you feel good when you leave. More people are taking advantage of it every day.”

More photo highlights below: