I’m an outdoor person. When I have time off, I don’t want to be inside—I’d rather be out doing something like tending my garden or going for a walk. Even when I was younger, I spent a lot of time playing outside and climbing trees. People often think it’s hard to do things outside in a city with all the buildings, but there’s so much to see and do in the area!
I go to many of the events offered by the Boston Natural Areas Network. They do a lot of different things like walks and bike rides through community gardens, canoe and fishing trips on the NeponsetRiver, and classes where you can learn how to grow and tend a garden in a small space—all for free. Many of the community garden events will also let you bring fruits and vegetables home: there’s one festival coming up in the fall where you can bring extra plants or vegetables to swap with other people. Some even come just to give away extra vegetables they know they can’t use.
Programs like these are great because the activities are not only fun, they’re a way to maintain a good level of exercise to help minimize or prevent high blood glucose. And, when you can get vegetables for free or learn how to grow your own you don’t have to stop eating them because they’re too expensive. The best part, though, is getting to meet a diverse group of people. At one event I met people who came all the way to Dorchester from Newton; at another I met a couple who moved here from India. My son participates in some of the youth activities and he’s met a lot of kids he probably wouldn’t have if not for this program (and he’s outside rather than in the house playing video games or watching TV, which I really like).
There’s something for everyone at community programs, you just need to know what’s available. But because they’re funded by a grant they need people to come out and participate, otherwise the money and the program go away. So come out and do something great for yourself and the community.