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Earth Day is an occasion to celebrate the revival of city parks

| by Jay Walljasper

Photo by Zane Selvans under a Creative Commons license from flickr.com.

As Earth Day rolls around, people usually think of protecting wild treasures like rainforests, coral reefs, old growth woods, and wetlands. But look at how most people actually celebrate Earth Day—cleaning up a local park or forest preserve. The truth is that urban parks are way that people get in touch with nature.

They also play an important part in our lives as commons. We can all enjoy them because civic leaders of the past had the foresight to set part of growing cities aside for people. Sadly, that civic spirit died out during the 20th century, and very few new parks were created in metropolitan areas. The backyard was supposed to meet all our needs—which heightened privatization and social alienation.

But thankfully, USA Today reports, a new generation of major urban parks are being created—thanks in large parts to commons-minded voters who have consistently passed referendums to buy the remaining open space in suburban areas.

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Posted April 22, 2008

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