Reflection, Walk #8, Yr 2, Saturday, November 21, 2015. Five FMWalkers met at the Sprouts Farmers Market on north Blackstone. It was a chilly but sunny morning with vibrant colors of trees, oranges, reds, and bright yellows, catching our attention. This walk covered retail areas of the Riverpark Shopping Center, the Pinedale neighborhood and elementary school, and then west across Palm, behindWalmart and among business complexes and light industrial, and back through older and then newer housing developments around Nelson Elementary. Both Pinedale and Nelson elementary schools are in the Clovis Unified School District but within the city of Fresno.
Pinedale: Walkers mentioned that they often drive through Pinedale to cut from Riverpark Shopping area to Ingram, but have not seen the many neighborhood streets up close and that this walk expanded what they knew about Fresno. These are older small homes, many neglected or worn over time with dry yards, but others well-kept with signs of busy family life. Walkers commented on the uniqueness of homes and the enjoyment of walking through such variety of life. Walkers saw a number of churches in the Pinedale neighborhoods. The beautiful St. Agnes Church, with services in Spanish and English. We met Sam doing yard work at the Assembly of God neighborhood church. Sam said the pastor lives just down the street. In Pinedale, Walkers talked about the many abandoned shopping carts and visible trash. A few loose dogs made appearances in the middle of the street and then ran off as Walkers approached.
Pinedale Elementary school is a bright spot in this neighborhood, with remodeled and new facilities. The campus is beautiful and well-kept, and with the Pinedale Children’s Health Center located in the school. One Walker shared that the woman who is the Pinedale Student Liaison won a Fresno County award for educator of the year just the night before.
One block from the school is the Pinedale Community Center with beautiful mural walls and the Pinedale Library. Walkers met Bob the librarian, who had been here many years. Two school-aged sisters were typing a report about pollution and were using the computers.
A surprise for Walkers was the artistic wall at the back of National Hardware Supply (see photos). A hundred yards of wall are decorated with rocks in dozens of designs. This wall is seen from the playground of Pinedale Elementary. One Walker plans to ask Paula Lloyd, the historian writer in the Fresno Bee, to research this wall.
Nelson Elementary – On the west side of Palm, Walkers strolled through older streets and even down an alley. The alley was neglected with trash and overgrown weeds and vines. However, Walkers could hear laughing and singing and beautiful music coming from a backyard. It seemed a family was planning a party in the backyard and cleaning and preparing. Within a block, walkers cross into a new neighborhood of single family homes and duplexes and condos/apartments. Nelson Elementary is a beautiful open campus, and the fields were noisy with soccer games and parents cheering from the sidelines.
Words Walkers used to describe this walk: diversity, interesting, character, contrasts, variety of housing options, homes and apartments, pocket communities, revitalization.
Sights: kids’ scooters, rock art at National Hardware, colorful trees, empty shopping carts, front yard stuff, art, children’s toys, beware of dog signs, chain link front yards with dogs, library, schools, community center, bicyclist with churro sales.
Smells: garlic, McDonalds by Walmart, alley smellled menudo, fresh air, cut grass.
Sounds – alley w nice music, family laughing working in the backyard, music, roosters, chickens, dogs, one house had 7 little dogs, beep and talking of the crosswalk, Spanish greeting from woman walking with groceries, music from houses, music from cars, hammering, birds, traffic, trucks, bike bell ringing.
Walkers meet a man walking near Blackstone wearing a nice white dress shirt and black slacks. Walkers greeted him, and he responded warmly, and then told us that he hadn’t heard anything positive in a long time, and that we cheered him up.
One Walker shared that she was in grief-land because of a death in her family this past week. She was thinking more of plants and nature, and was glad for the silent walk outside in nature. All her family was traveling long distances to be together this coming week. She said, “death trumps life.”
Walkers talked about the people we met and saw on this walk. These are our brothers and sisters in Fresno. All of our lives and futures are tied together.This entry was posted in Uncategorized