The Year of Moving Forward

The Year of Moving Forward
At our 4 person wedding reception in DC

Monday, September 20, 2010

Railroad Park

Yesterday I visited the new Railroad Park in Birmingham. There were quite a few people there, some with dogs, some with kids, some on bikes, some on roller blades and some with skateboards.

The park is a big expanse of green with a lake and a stream and trails around the perimeter and criss-crossing.

Here is an article from USA Today about the park.

In this picture you can see that there is a perimeter trail but also a meandering trail, and a stream in between. Joggers were making their way primarily on the flatter outer trail, while cyclists seemed to prefer the ups and down of the inner trails.

There were kids wading barefoot in the stream. Later I saw two middle-aged African American women wading gingerly in the water.

"How long since you've done that?" I asked them.

"I've never done it," one of them answered, laughing. "This is wonderful. This is the best thing," she said, indicating the park.

It was really refreshing to see people in Birmingham appreciating the beauty that has always been around them. I mean, sure the park didn't always look this way, but there are signs in the park that explain the history, and that the site was once natural, then industrial, and now (somewhat) natural again.

From the park you can see that Birmingham is a city on the move. Large cranes indicate construction at nearby Children's Hospital. Here is a construction webcam where you can see what's going on. There's a time-lapse video there where you can watch months of construction in about 30 seconds. Pretty neat.

Students were lounging in the grass, some were reading, some were talking on their phones, others were napping.

The buildings of downtown, including the Wells Fargo building with their new sign atop, provide a backdrop to the new park.

There are walls and barriers within the park made of bricks and stone that were found on the site. I don't have a picture, but the bricks and such are stacked and encased in wire cloth to hold them in place. Interesting.

Also, informational signs are placed though out the park to inform visitors of some history, or some nature, within and around the park.

And at the west end of the park you can smell the bread baking from the bread factory across the street.

Read more about your park at the Park website.


Jeffro said...

Looks pretty cool. I will have to come check it out before the cold gets here. Is this near the V.A. Hospital and UAB?

Joe said...

Yeah Jeff. The park is directly North from UAB along 1st ave south next to the railroad tracks.

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