Just Park It…


“O Lord save us from overworking! Grant us grace to rest awhile.” Wise words from an inspirational writer born in Accra, Ghana, Lailah Gifty Akita.

Some days work is hard. Once in a while it’s even harder. Overwork is one answer. For some people work is their drug, they become workaholics. That sounds bad, but it isn’t always. Sometimes people love their work so much, they just don’t stop. Passion has its place in the workplace.

But no matter how you get there, exhaustion happens. That’s why we have weekends and vacations.

And that’s why some folks work hard at relaxing. They relax as hard as they work. There’s some wisdom in that. Consider a few of the strangest vacations enjoyed by some people.

  • One Canadian vacation planner advertises at trip to a settlement called Ittoqqortoormiit, in Greenland. You live with the native Inuit people in an Igloo Village and then sleep in an icy cave where you hope the bears won’t eat you. Now that’s relaxing!
  • How about a vacation on Japan’s Izu Islands where – by law – you must carry a gas mask at all times. It’s on top of an active volcano that vents deadly gases. It’s fun for brave tourists with strong noses.
  • For about $10,000, you can sail out to the Great Pacific Ocean Garbage Patch, as big as Texas, famous for its delightful view of floating plastic waste, chemical sludge, and debris trapped by swirling oceanic currents. Vacationers can haul heaps of junk back to shore. That’s a working vacation full of fun.

Fortunately, closer to home, we have tamer, more peaceful places to unwind and relax. They’re called “Parks.” The Jamestown Parks Department, for example, manages 500 acres of parkland and an urban forest of over 10,000 trees. Need a break? Just park it right here at home.

But it gets even better. About one hundred years ago, New York created a statewide park system that became a national model for enjoyment of nature and for rest and recreation. This decade alone has seen $900 million invested it its care. New York State says, “Need a break? Just Park It.”

President Theodore Roosevelt once said, “The nation behaves well if it treats its natural resources as assets which it must turn over to the next generation increased, and not impaired, in value.”
This week, your Jamestown Gazette says, “Just Park It” with an invitation to spend a great day at Long Point State Park as nature’s long-awaited Spring-greening rolls into high gear.

State Parks are ours because of our support. The most obvious sign of our support is, of course, the paying of our taxes. But maybe a better measure of our support is our enjoyment of and care for the beautiful parklands that are ours to use.

“In the hierarchy of public lands, national parks by law have been above the rest: America’s most special places, where natural beauty and all its attendant pleasures – quiet waters, the scents of fir and balsam, the hoot of an owl, and the dark of a night sky unsullied by city lights – are sacrosanct,” according to Michael Shnayerson, twentieth century American journalist and author.

Just park it at Long Point and enjoy the day. And then, of course, enjoy the read right here.

Walt Pickut

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Walt Pickut
Walt Pickut’s writing career began with publishing medical research in1971 while working at the Jersey City Medical Center and the NYU Hospital and School of Medicine. Walt holds board registries in respiratory care and sleep technology as well as bachelor's degrees in biology and communication, and a master's degrees in physiology from Fairleigh-Dickinson University in New Jersey, with additional graduate work in mass communication completed at SUNY Amherst. He currently teaches Presentational Speaking in the Houghton College PACE program at JCC and holds memberships in the Society of Professional Journalists and the American Society of Business Publication Editors. He lives in Jamestown with his wife Nancy, an MSW social worker, and has three children: Dr. Cait Lamberton in Pittsburgh, Bill Pickut, a marketing executive in Chicago, and Rev. Matt Pickut in Plymouth, IN.