On Saturday, June 6, 2015, at 8 am, five FMWalkers met at Kaiser Park on Alluvial between First and Fresno. It was a beautiful morning and was already getting warm. Walkers mentioned that while they had driven down the street many times, they had never really noticed this park right next to the Kaiser emergency entrance.
When we arrived, there was a man sleeping on top of a picnic table with all his belongings on the benches. Another man was talking to himself and weaving around the parking lot. Two young boys were already making jumps on their bikes in the skate park filled with ramps and railings.
FMWalkers observed a wide variety of living options on the 4 mile round trip route of this walk. Two mobile home parks, duplexes, condos, apartments, and medium and large homes. These neighborhoods are within walking distance of Clovis Unified Schools — Kastner Intermediate, Fort Washington Elementary, and Clovis West High School. Walkers noticed a range of quality of the apartments. A few alleys and streets had signs of neglect, trash, shopping carts, and discarded mattresses. Walkers talked about how these living options allow for economic diversity among the students attending the local schools. Walkers talked about economic diversity as a good thing, reducing the economic segregation that dominates much of Fresno.
Not a lot of graffiti, and no loose dogs on this walk. Only one or two barking dogs at us, and no front yard chained linked fences on this walk.
We met Shelly who lives in the Fort Washington II Apartments, which are beautifully landscaped with pool, tennis courts, fountains, walk ways, clean laundry rooms, and shaded parking. She says there are 3 bedroom apartments for around $1,000 per month. She loves it for her boys who are close to the schools.
Crossing Nees, FMWalkers commented that they enjoyed this neighborhood of large homes. These homes had variety, and landscaping and front porches had individual expression and character. Signs of pulling out grass and replacing with drought tolerant landscaping. Some brown lawns. Even as these neighborhoods bump into retail areas and new developments, homes have signs of people making their homes a place of serenity — fountains, chimes, front yard welcome signs.
These neighborhoods brought back memories for walkers who had lived there many years ago before all the development.
FMWalkers often try to find paths or cut-throughs from one neighborhood to another. The apartments had locked gates, so we could not cut through. We met Joey at the back of Vons. He had just worked out and lives in the apartments. He said they lock the gates to keep people from pushing shopping carts through the apartment complexes to get to Fresno Street and Blackstone. Joey easily hopped over the gate into the apartments. FMWalkers decided to go around the block.
Walkers met Jason on the unexpected walking path that comes out to Fresno Street, hidden next to the mobile home park. Jason was repairing the trailer hooked to his bike which hauls his belongings. Jason told us he is homeless, but is ‘camping’ down by the river. The land owner allows him to live there for a small rent. He said things are tough for him, but he’s trying to make it. See pictures of Jason in the photo album.
Back at Kaiser Park, FMWalkers noticed the drastic difference between the brown grass of the park, which is maintained by City of Fresno, and the green grass of the sport complex fields that are maintained by Kaiser Hospital. Access to the sport complex fields is from the Kaiser parking lot. It was gated and locked and there were no tournaments going on this morning.
FMWalker observed two disheveled men sitting at a picnic table with their belongings and large bags of recylce items. At another table, a man was spreading a table cloth and setting out items for a picnic. At another table, two women just arrived and were talking. A young man took his bike out of his trunk and soon began jumping ramps in the skate
Facebook photo album: https://www.facebook.com/pg/fresnomindfulnesswalks/photos/?tab=album&album_id=1622317834721631This entry was posted in Uncategorized