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   A Memorial University of Newfoundland Publication

July 10, 2003
 Student View

An urban paradise

 

Brian Hammond

Who has been to the Botanical Gardens? Have you walked around Long Pond this summer? If not, why not? I heard on the radio the other day – something that makes me cringe – summer's half over. Now, I don't know if I believe what I heard – there's still warm weather to come, I hope – but we need to enjoy it while we can. Our university sits in the middle of a veritable paradise. Just stroll through campus and look at the landscape; you'll see what I mean. We are lucky to have such picturesque grounds and to be surrounded by the beauty of St. John's.

I don't have a car. And to make matters worse I live in Mount Pearl. As a result, I guess I'm forced to exercise a little more than I may if I had a vehicle. I walk a lot. But I don't mind the long hike into town. It takes an hour and a half to get to MUN from my house but from my front door, I can wander through the woods almost the entire way. For this, I'm grateful. Perhaps, I'm a nature nut. But surely you must agree that a quiet, meandering trail beats the hot and dusty curb of Kenmount Road.

I remember living in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and, though I was not a starving student while there, I still had no transportation other than my feet and heartbeat. The difference was it was miles to the nearest forest or pond worth swimming in. From MUN, however, it's only a hop to Pippy Park, Long Pond, or the Rennies Mill River trail, which winds its way through swollen thickets and natural grandeur all the way to Quidi Vidi Lake.

Break from your studies and take a walk beside the river, beneath the trees with the summer breeze. Half hidden from the city’s view are waterfalls, and enchanting streams. Right in the midst of the urban sprawl, we are able to escape into nature.

Three Pond Barrens in Pippy Park is a grand place to swim, fish and camp, or just disappear for a while. Imagine yourself surrounded by fields and groves, silver clouds and sunshine on the grass, but still close enough to run to Needs, should you run out of beer or marshmallows.

University life can be stressful. But I don’t need to tell you that. I for one love to ease off with good old Mother Nature. A long trek, day trip or over-nighter is great way to break up the dreary course of student life, relax and take your mind off upcoming deadlines. Momentarily, there are no exams, no papers, and no assignments of any kind, just the sun, rolling streams and open fields, quiet and serene.

 


 


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Next issue: July 24, 2003

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