Just a Walk in the Park
Linda Doren

In Ashland, when you talk about a walk in the park, one thinks of beautiful Lithia Park and the Shakespeare Theatre attraction. If you visit Ashland and do not take tine to stroll through this incredible park, you have not experienced the fullness of the city.
Japanese Garden in Lithia Park:
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In Mountain Meadows Community, the residents refer to a different park when walking in the park' is the subject of conversation. The residents of this incredible and unique community have their own park named after the founder of the community. Madeline Hill. An evening walk to the Kitchen Creek Community Garden might entice one to stroll through the Madeline Hill Park on the sidewalks or manicured pathways, then meander throughout the grounds and around the pond. Perhaps one would take a moment to sit in the gazebo (made by the members of the wood shop at Mountain Meadows; and gaze out at the nature views and pause to reflect. Ah! Life is Good Here! Perhaps while walking, one might encounter a duck family in the pond or see a majestic Black Tailed buck deer gazing at you through the trees. One might hear the melodious song of the variety of birds which inhabit this special park. More than likely, one will meet another resident doing the exact same thing-enjoying the scenic stroll through the park: maybe on their way to the community garden to harvest some vegetables or pick some flowers for a friend. Maybe there is a game of horseshoes underway or Bocce competition taking place-it might be fun to join in! Life can be extremely hectic and often stressful. Gardening can calm the spirit and provide renewed energy. A walk through nature can accomplish this calming of the spirit as well. Getting in touch with nature: viewing the pond and watching the birds; talking with a fellow resident -all these things the residents of Mountain Meadows 55+ Community have at their fingertips. For some, it is just outside their doors. For others, it is only a short walk or bike ride from their home. The Madeline Hill Park is just one of the special amenities offered to. and available for. the people who live in Mountain Meadows. It is one of the many things that make living here —Just a Walk in the Park.
Duck pond at Lithia Park with Shakespeare Theater in background
Walking in Ashland

Ashland was recently featured as one of eight "walkable cities" by Where To Retire magazine (May/June 2013). One of our residents, Margie Davis, was interviewed in the article. Margie works full time in Medford, but on the weekends and some evenings, she enjoys leaving her car at home , walking from Mountain Meadows to downtown Ashland to have brunch or visit a bookstore. Like many of our residents, she is a fan of Lithia Park with its extensive walking paths and beautiful scenery.

Other walks mentioned in the article are the Railroad District with its cafes and art galleries and Southern Oregon University area.

Another favorite walking route of Mountain Meadows residents (besides our own Madeline Hill Park) is just down the street from Mountain Meadows: North Mountain Park and Nature Center provides various paths through a wildlife preserve and around several playing fields.
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GOOSE, GANDER, AND GOSLINGS -Ted and Vic - adapted from the Mountain Meadows News.

Spring this year brought an unexpected diversion for walkers in Madeline Hill Park.

Victor and Ted each wrote about the geese that recently made their home at Mountain Meadows. Here are excerpts:

VIC: It was with considerable misgiving that I observed a pair of Canada geese making Bill’s Pond their home this spring. I noticed a nest under construction on the island. There came a day when I could actually see a couple of big brown eggs amid the goose down that lined the nest. Most of the time after that, one or the other of the pair was sitting on the nest.

TED: Many of us at Mountain Meadows have watched the very patient gander standing guard over his soon-to-be Mother Goose, watching ever diligently, ready to protect his soon-to-be family as might be necessary. Day after day he stood in the water, sometimes on one foot while resting the other, Day after day he stood, waiting, always aware of anything happening around him.

VIC: So much time went by that Arlene and I decided that perhaps the eggs were not going to hatch—so sad for Mom and Pop Goose.

TED: …but then around the fourth or fifth of May there appeared four baby geese swimming in the pond with their proud parents.

VIC: ...Arlene spied four little yellow goslings swimming with Mom on the pond. "Vic, "she called excitedly--there are goslings on the Pond!"

TED: Poppa Goose swam with a big puffed- out chest while his beautiful Momma spouse cuddled this new world of theirs.