Nestled behind beautifully landscaped neighborhood communities is a 1.31 mile paved path made especially for bikers, runners, and walkers. The Westside Linear Park, one of 18 parks in McMinnville, offers multiple entrances off neighborhood roads where you can escape the cars and stoplights. Paths like this are difficult to find in many towns as they require a significant amount of planning, resources, and desire from the community. In McMinnville, we are lucky to have many choices of where to run, play, bike, and walk.
The reason paths like these matter, is because they bring community members together. If you live in one of the many neighborhoods connected to this convenient trail, you probably see your neighbors just a little bit more, walk your dog just a little bit longer, and spend just a little extra time outside. Even if you don’t use the trail, it's a welcoming feeling to look out your window and see people you know, and admire the well maintained grounds surrounding your property.
Being an avid runner myself, I enjoy these public spaces as an adult, but let’s talk about how great it is for kids. Though many of our neighborhood streets are complete with sidewalks on either side of the road, paths like this offer yet another way for kids to safely walk to their friend’s house, learn to ride a bike, and a place for them to play other than their own backyard.
In their 2017 Annual Report, “America’s Health Rankings”, the United Health Foundation states: “Children who grow up in neighborhoods with few neighborhood amenities are more likely to be obese than those with more neighborhood amenities, regardless of socioeconomic characteristics”.
It’s clear that having spaces such as the Westside Linear Park in communities encourages the health, socialization, and involvement of residents. I’m happy to be living in a place that values lifestyle and amenities for its citizens!
"Great Neighborhood Principles" will help us explore what makes a neighborhood in