A recent story in the Contra Costa Times reported on US News and World Report ranking Walnut Creek as one of the best places to retire in the United States:
A moderate climate combined with roughly 2,700 acres of open space and other attributes landed Walnut Creek a spot on the national magazine’s list of cities that offer “ample opportunities for active retirees to focus on their physical and mental health.”
Access to a large amount of open space was one of the important factors in the ranking. In fact, Walnut Creek residents enjoy quick and easy access to a number of large, adjacent parks including Lime Ridge Open Space (jointly owned with the City of Concord), Shell Ridge Open Space, Castle Rock Regional Recreation Area, Diablo Foothills Regional Park, and Mount Diablo State Park.
The City of Concord has the opportunity to take similar advantage of adjacent open space by supporting a large, world-class Regional Park as part of the reuse plan for the Concord Naval Weapons Station (in the interest of full disclosure, I am a member of the Community Advisory Committee for Concord’s reuse planning process).
Large Regional Parks obviously provide much more than “dirt and weeds” (as some Concord City Council members seem to think). In addition to the recreational and interpretive benefits, easy access to large public open space can also bring local, regional, and even national recognition to a city as a desirable place to live, work, and retire.
© 2008, Scott Hein. All rights reserved.