Thursday, September 06, 2007

Safety Concerns - Losing my Favorite Park

One of my favorite places to walk is called Antrim Park. It is a 1.2 mile loop around a small lake with lots of trees and the option to get on a bike trail that is about 8 miles long and follows a scenic river. It's close enough that I don't have to drive very far. Far enough away that it feels special.

I especially love walking here when there is no one else around. I like the solitude, the water, the ducks, the trees... I like seeing the seasons change. I just really enjoy this park.

Over the last few weeks, there have been attacks against a couple of women in that area. One women had been in the woods alone, so I thought I would be OK, I'm smart, I stay on the path near the lake. Well, it seems that recently women have been grabbed from the path around the lake. And earlier this week, a man was found just standing in the area with his pants down! Over the years women have also been randomly attacked on the bike trail where it gets isolated (and where it is most beautiful), so I haven't walked there alone in years.

I am so ticked! I am angry that these creeps have taken this park and bike path away from me. I'm angry that in order to enjoy one of my favorite places to walk, I am now going to have to take someone with me. (I like walking with other people - I don't want to HAVE to walk with other people.)

I'm also sad. I feel like I've lost a friend, which probably seems weird to some of you. Now, unless I want to drive 30 min to my other favorite park, I'm going to have to walk in my neighborhood, or on busy streets with lots of cars, or less pretty parks with lots of people, just to be safe.

Thankfully none of these women were killed. And I feel especially sad for them - they just wanted to enjoy a great park and be healthy. How will they ever feel safe again?

This is a reminder that we should all pay attention to our surroundings wherever we walk. Let's all be careful.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Cindi, this also angers me. I too love to use my local parks for exercise. I will continue to use the parks but will do so with a heightened awareness of my surroundings. All the best, Dan