Marking The End Of The Pandemic

by Heather Allen

Marking The End Of The Pandemic

How will we mark the end of this pandemic? How will we pay tribute to so many lives lost?

Walking through town on my daily exercise I pass a blue plaque, a war memorial, a fountain, and statues and often wonder what we will do to remember the individual tragedies, the heroes and the collective trauma of Covid 19.

The town centre is nearly empty on my walk, except for people on a mission to the grocery store or pharmacy.  In contrast, the park is full of life, socially-distanced vibrant life. People stroll, children learn to ride bikes and dogs chase each other in circles.

Nature has brought solace to many during this pandemic. There is a new appreciation for  local parks and real interest in greener and wilder spaces in the places where we live.  

What if a resurgence of nature is the way we mark this pandemic? New ambitious parks, areas of rewilding, areas where biodiversity will thrive.

There are already ambitious projects being drawn up to turn the interest in nature into action. In Stockton-on-Tees they are creating plans to replace half their High Street with a park, creating a riverside oasis. The Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust has reimagined the city centre of Nottingham, replacing the concrete of the Broadmarsh Shopping Centre with natural, green space. This is part of a bold vision to reconnect Nottingham to the ancient Sherwood Forest landscape.

Creating new visionary green spaces would bring beauty, fresh air and hope. Places that start to repair our relationship with nature. Places to come together. Places to remember lives lost.

As we think of the ways we need to mark this pandemic, let’s include ambitious and imaginative green spaces as enduring places for repair and renewal.

Photo: Photo by Amelie & Niklas Ohlrogge on Unsplash

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