Springtime will soon bring an outburst of color and fragrance to our urban landscape. Two of the best places to witness the show are at Foster Park and Lakeside Park.

 

The Foster Park tulips will soon be lining up in their yellow, red, and purple suits, standing at attention in contrast to the backdrop of verdant grass. Plus the lilac trees will be sending their soft purple scents into the air. Be sure to stroll the trails of the Park each season - you'll catch the next show of blooms.

The sunken garden at Lakeside Park with the surrounding rose garden in bloom is a sign of warmer weather.  To get the full experience, find a bench facing the Park fountain and take in all the color. Or bring your camera and see if you can get some good close-ups of the flowers.  

The urban parks are a sight, but sometimes I feel like getting out of the bustle of the city. ACRES (a land preservation agency) preserves are the perfect antidote to the noise and pace of the city.

ACRES has nearly 80 preserves scattered throughout the region and my goal is to visit them all.  I'm about a fourth of the way through - thankfully I've got a ways to go.  Two of my top choices so far are Fogwell Forest and Dustin Preserve.  Both preserves contain a quality of ‘forgetfulness.'

Located in the southwestern part of Allen County, down Lower Huntington Road, Fogwell Forest has a good sized woods (28 acres) and boasts hundred-year-old oaks and beech trees and natural wetlands. Bring your boots if the weather's been wet!

The best part of Fogwell is the meadow in the east of the property. Between the mild hills along the trail and the tall grasses, your visibility in the meadow is reduced at many points. There is secluded feeling and a near forgetting of outside world.  Just stand in the middle of the trail, look up, and consider your place in creation.  

My next choice is Dustin Preserve.  Dustin, much larger than Fogwell since it's combined with two other preserves, is another place which could make you forget where you are. Save a few areas, Allen County is flat - but, not Dustin Preserve. There are sharp drop-offs once the land meets Cedar Creek. You can clearly see where the glaciers made their retreat thousands of years ago.

Fort Wayne (and Allen County) is fortunate to have had visionaries who set aside land for all to enjoy.  All you need for any of the above sightseeing excursions is good walking shoes and a willingness to be inspired.

 

Woods