As parents, we often see the world through our children’s eyes. Last week, my 12-year-old daughter, Shelby, asked me to go see the fish with her. “Central Park has fish?” I questioned, as she grabbed a net. We hopped on our bikes and headed out under the Indian summer sun. Riding through the park, we waved to neighbors we knew – and those we have not yet met.
We arrived at the pond at the north end of Central Park, and as the sun was glistening off the water, I marveled at our surroundings. This man-made pond highlights the landscape design throughout the coummunity. Clean lines and subtle curves form the trails, streams and bridges throughout the park system and connect people to the native landscape and animal habitat of the high prairie (before it was the airport) upon which our community was built.
We walked to end of the dock where Shelby kicked off her shoes and placed the fishing net at her side. I watched her put small pieces of stale bread between her toes and lower her bare feet into the water. Within a few seconds, a small school of guppies swarmed her toes to nibble the bread. I must admit, I was a bit disappointed and not very surprised to see these tiny fish that are often found in our urban streams and ponds.
However, within a few minutes, several orange and black fish resembling small Koi and measuring about six inches long were swirling around, edging out the guppies. With my help, we scooped up a few of these fish and dozens of guppies. Shelby proudly placed them in a five-gallon bucket for further examination before returning them to the murky water.
This kind of experience is one of the many reasons I love Central Park. There is beauty and wonder throughout this neighborhood and you don’t have to go far to find it. This community fosters friendly interactions, lifetime memories and fresh air – all within some of Denver’s most spectacular parks.