I am not at all a pessimist, but recent news has me grumbling
Articles in the news last week urged consumers to forego bottled water, and head straight for filtered tap water, a surprising piece of advice to many. Many of us reach for a bottle and break the plastic seal atop it, assuming it to be pristine and fresh, just as its labeling indicates, but the reality is that the bottled water industry is not overseen nearly at the same level as public water supplies. Bottles litter the landfills just as their plastics (and other unmonitored contents) can litter a human digestive tract.
Similarly, many of us look to our parks and open space organizations to frugally maintain these gems, with the law and the public interest in mind. As was reported in the Mercury News late last month (http://www.mercurynews.com/ci_12674997?IADID=Search-www.mercurynews.com-www.mercurynews.com) thousands of rebate checks may be mailed to reimburse home owners in Santa Clara County for a tax that was illegally imposed in 2001, benefiting the Santa Clara County Open Space Authority. I do not question the value of our local rangers, parks and recreation departments, and open space agencies. However, the money trail over this mess litters the metaphorical landscape with millions of dollars to Seattle and bureaucracy, and I am certain millions will stay with the Santa Clara County Open Space Authority when tax payers cannot make sense of the 10-page letter about the lawsuit and see that they are required to request their checks to receive them.
This recent news compels me to suggest that we should look no farther than our own backyards for resources to harvest and drink, non-profits to support, and outdoor educational opportunities to share with our children. Let’s toot our own horns as we celebrate the water and food that come from our yards and neighborhoods, local organizations we align with whose money and resource trails are short and stay within our community, and great opportunities we have to explore our own backyards through organized events and plenty of online information from your Stroller Hikes friends.
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Here are this week’s events:
Monday, July 13th at 10 am there is no scheduled hike. This hike will resume next week.
Tuesday, July 14th at 8:30 am Loren and little Angelo will lead a mellow stroller jog around Almaden Lake and down Los Alamitos Trail. Meet at the water dragon by the big playground near the bathrooms and swimming beach in the main parking lot near the intersection of Coleman Avenue and Almaden Expressway. No dogs allowed! Jogging strollers are best, but this is an entirely paved trail, so smaller-wheeled strollers are also OK. Walkers always welcome! For more information about the area or directions, see The Los Alamitos Creek Trail Webpage (http://www.strollerhikes.com/Hikes/LosAlamitos/LosAlamitos.html). If you’re running late, call Loren at 831-227-6737.
Tuesday, July 14th at 2 pm join Amy B. and little James and Sadie for a hike at Byxbee Park in Palo Alto. Meet at the Byxbee parking area. We’ll hike up and down the lovely crushed oyster shell paths around the artistic installments to Byxbee Park, then hike over to the Palo Alto Baylands Park, stopping to check out the birds around the duck pond as well as windsurfers and artists taking advantage of the good weather and interesting landscape. The trail works fine for all types of strollers. Dogs allowed! For more information about the parks and directions to Byxbee’s main parking lot, see Byxbee Page (http://www.strollerhikes.com/Hikes/Byxbee/Byxbee.html) and Palo Alto Baylands Page (http://www.strollerhikes.com/Hikes/PABaylands/PABaylands.html). If you’re running late, call Amy at 408-368-7161.
Wednesday, July 15th at 9:45 am we’ll hike at Rancho San Antonio in Cupertino/Los Altos Hills. We’ll do an almost entirely paved, flat path going to the farm, and possibly go past it. The road is perfect for trikes or bikes, if toddlers or young children want to ride. Any baby transport will work. Meet at the main lower parking lot at the water fountain in front of the bathrooms (just past the entrance, turn right, then follow the road until it ends). For more information or directions, see the Rancho San Antonio Page (http://www.strollerhikes.com/Hikes/RanchoSanAntonio/ranchoSanAntonio.html). Sorry, dogs not allowed. This hike is at least half shaded. Lisa and little Samuel will lead this hike. If you’re running late, call Lisa at 650-892-8678.
Thursday, July 16th at 4 pm join Debbie and little Max for a Toddler Trek at Alviso Marina and Don Edwards Wildlife Refuge in Alviso. Come enjoy the range of birds, the Bay breezes (which kick up in the afternoon), and see the train! The boardwalks here are great for toddlers. Meet at the Marina Parking lot. Bring a carrier or a jogging stroller for wee ones. Sorry, no dogs allowed. For directions or more information about the area, see The Alviso / Don Edwards Page (http://www.strollerhikes.com/Hikes/Alviso/Alviso.html). Call Debbie at 650-776-1082 if you’re running late. This is a Santa Clara County Healthy Trails (http://www.parkhere.org/portal/site/parks/) outing.
Enjoy the beautiful weather!
– Debbie and little Max