Accounts vary on how much snow we've actually had here in Belfast this year. I'd heard we were at 75" before the 10" or so that came this past Monday. My Other Half, who writes for the local paper, was told it might be higher than that. I'm no meteorologist, nor am I a ruler, but I can tell you that we have had so much snow that we no longer shovel it very well. Our pathway to the door has become more and more narrow with each storm. This reflects both laziness on our part and a lack of creative storage places for each shovel-full.
It's been sunny since Monday's storm though, and warm enough to melt pretty decent piles away. The banked snow against the house is melted, and in the two or three inches of ground that revealed itself I can see hearty little crocus bulbs coming up. I wouldn't agree to arm wrestle them if I were you. They seem pretty tough.
Belfast is already preparing for the spring and summer. The co-op is chock full of seed packets, and the city council just put funding toward an expanded public art project for the downtown that will feature altered bicycles. We've had some of these in summer's past, but this year we'll see eight more beauties. I can't wait! Even more exciting is a redesigned and thoroughly considered Tot Lot in Belfast City Park, which will be a natural playground. I'd never heard of these before, but they make use of the natural landscape, rolling hills, grass, trees, water, and make a real exploratory place for kids to climb and play in. I look forward to pouring my morning iced coffee and walking the kids over there. They are aiming for a Father's Day grand opening. Hot Damn!
Oh, I almost forgot. The local middle school has a class with a teacher who let the kids design a project that would benefit the city in lieu of the standard research paper. The kids were inspired by hearing about green bicycle programs around other cities and universities, where people have free bicycles available at a centralized location. They approached the City Council for permission to set up a the bikes and bike rack downtown. Not only did they get approval, but they were encouraged by the City Council to consider adding additional bike racks outside of town for alternative pick up/drop off locations. The kids have gotten together all the bikes they'll need and will be painting them bright green and tuning them up in time for the summer season.
I love when good ideas + kid energy gets respected and supported like this. Have I told you how much I love this place?