15 - The "World-Famous" Pioneer Park

Pioneer Park in Walla Walla is a 43 acre public gathering point for all citizens in the city. On the East side of downtown, the park houses some of the largest trees of their species in the entire country (4) and in the state of Washington (59). Originally purchased in 1897 by the City, it was designed in part by Frederick Law Olmstead, the father of landscape architecture and the designer of New York City's Central Park. 

The Walla Walla Podcast team discuss the value and importance of public spaces, the social equalization that occurs through them, and the usefulness of being a part of a stratified community. The three talk about the incredible gift that foresight offers to people in the future, inviting us to consider how we "pay it forward" to future generations we will never meet. How are we sacrificing our lives for what will come next, for things that will not benefit us directly? How are we giving ourselves even in the complexity and chaos of our own experiences? What legacy will we leave behind?

The three also talk about the American cultural ideal of pain-avoidance - in the extraordinary sense as well as the mundane. The gang takes a moment as well to discuss the value of slowing down, stopping, resting, and taking a breath. Parks like Pioneer are invitations into a simpler life where we have time and space to notice details that are easy to overlook. In addition, they reflect on the Biblical tradition of Sabbath-keeping, taking regular time with community to stop and take a different pace.

The resources recommended this episode (pictured below) include: