When I visit the Okefenokee Swamp, I expect to see alligators. So when I find alligators in a small, local park, it is a special treat…
I recently went on a short trip to attend a pioneer pastor’s conference in North Carolina. Even though we spent most of our weekend driving, my wife and I were able to connect with friends and fit in some wildlife photography in a small park in Wilmington. The pleasant experience got me thinking about the value of a local park.
Greenfield Lake Park in Wilmington, North Carolina is small compared to our National Parks, but good sized for a local park. There was some surprisingly nice scenery and wildlife in this 190-acre municipal park. Although surrounded by development and neighborhoods, we were immediately transported into a low-country cypress wetland. The yellows, reds and greens of fall were reflected in the dark waters. Curtains of Spanish Moss hung from the textured Cypress trees.
A break in the afternoon rain showers allowed us to rent the paddle boats for an hour. I was again surprised by the abundance of wildlife. Cormorants and Anhingas preened in the Cypress, White Ibis fed along the banks and small birds flitted about with joy. And it’s always a treat to see gators, especially in a very developed area. The value of this small lake is beyond measure for the wildlife that may have otherwise been pushed out or exterminated.
And how nice to have a quiet area to spend the afternoon with our friends. Local parks provide city residents a quick opportunity to recharge in nature without travelling great distances. Even our small parks give us a quiet place to de-stress, relax and bring down the blood pressure while enjoying the company of friends and loved ones.