Parks, Trails & Green Space: Helping to Build Strong Families & a Healthy Community
Guest Blogger: Lorraine Forster, Prairie’s Edge Development Corporation.
Nature trails provide a, safe, healthy environment for children and families to enjoy nature and the outdoors free of charge. Trail systems can be multi-use, and depending on the section, may allow walkers, runners, hikers, bicyclists, horseback riders, snowshoers and cross country skiers year round access. Individuals, families, school groups and tourists will be welcomed for some peace, learning and gentle exercise as they encounter a multitude of birds and wildlife.
Why are Trails Important to Saskatchewan? In a recent survey “Walking for pleasure and cycling are among the top recreation activities”. Canada has a long history of trails, from the first footpaths of the original natives to today’s Trans Canada Trail, trails have played a part in our lives, first for commerce and transportation, now for recreation and adventure. In every region of the country there are trails to take you away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Consider celebrating International Trails Day, is an annual festival of trails, trail development and the healthy lifestyle they encourage. It is celebrated each year on the first Saturday in June and is a great day to set aside to get outdoors and enjoy one of the area trail systems.
Parks, walking trails and green spaces provide tremendous lifestyle benefits as well as benefitting the environment. In addition, studies have found that real estate values and resale values are higher for properties near trail and park systems. Results of a recent survey show that “trails are regarded as an amenity that helps to attract buyers and to sell property.”
- 29% believed that the existence of the trail would increase the selling price of their home
- 57% of the residents felt that the trail would make the home easier to sell
- 57% of these residents had lived in their homes prior to construction of the trail
- 29% of those surveyed were positively influenced by the trail in their decision to buy the home.
Of the real estate agents interviewed:
- 73% believed that a home adjacent to a trail would be easier to sell
- 55% agreed that the home would sell for more than a comparable home from a different neighborhood
- 82% of real estate agents used the trail as a selling point
- 100% believed trails are an amenity to the community around it.
Green space enhancements filter pollutants and dust from the air, provide shade and lower temperatures, and reduce erosion of soils andcontamination of local waterways. They increase oxygen, act as carbon sinks, decrease pollution and attract wildlife. Benefits to personal health and quality of life are well documented and include support for mental well-being, rest, relaxation, and revitalization through recreation and stress management. Conserved open space helps safeguard drinking water, clean the air, and prevent flooding. When considering where you want to spend your time and investment, consider the value of parks, trails and green spaces and how they contribute to building strong families and a healthy community.