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A guide to getting your dose of nature in Mass. this Earth Day

A sign marks a trailhead and headquarters at the Blue Hills Reservation in Milton. (Charles Krupa/AP Photo)
A sign marks a trailhead and headquarters at the Blue Hills Reservation in Milton. (Charles Krupa/AP Photo)

Editor's Note: This is an excerpt from WBUR's Saturday morning newsletter, The Weekender. If you like what you read and want it in your inbox, sign up here

Just last week, I was ready to break out my summer linens. Now, I’m beginning to wonder if I missed a crucial part of the saying, “April showers bring May flowers.” Nowhere in the rhyme is there a mention of the cold, blustery wind and thick fog Boston experienced this week. But who knows, maybe we’ll get double the flowers as a result.

At least, that’s what I’m wishing for this Earth Day.

Speaking of May flowers, did you know the state’s Department of Conservation and Recreation has a list of the most scenic views in Massachusetts — including the most beautiful parks in bloom — on their website? NPR’s Life Kit suggests thinking about time in nature like a multivitamin: A supplement to our health. If you’re searching for a way to get your vitamins this Earth Day, here are some tips from the DCR to help you map out your next New England expedition.

Trek prep: The DCR provides printable trail maps for nearly every state park on their site. Not only is it nice to have a printout for a screen-free hike, a physical map can help you ensure your safety as you navigate more off-beaten trails.

Wedding season is approaching. And while this year’s is not nearly as busy as the last (reports say the so-called “wedding boom” of 2022 has winded down), there always seems to be someone in our networks frantically planning their nuptials. It doesn’t have to be stressful, though — a calming hike could also serve as a trip to scout a wedding venue. Check out DCR’s list of popular state parks for weddings, perfect for nature-loving couples looking to tie the knot.

A tip from the experts: Soon-to-be DCR commissioner Brian Arrigo’s favorite state park is located in the city where he was the mayor from 2016 up until yesterday. “I’m biased, but Revere Beach is my favorite DCR park,” Arrigo said in an email. “It’s the first public beach established in the United States, and to this day is a great spot accessible by public transportation. I’ve been going to Revere Beach since I was a kid, and now I take my children there to play and enjoy one of our many beautiful public parks.” (Stay tuned: I’ll be speaking to Arrigo next week as he steps into his new role.)

  • The DCR team also recommends these unique outings: Camping in a yurt, taking in the view of neighboring states at Mount Wachusett’s fire tower or visiting the Ames mansion (featured in the movie “Knives Out”) at Borderland State Park.

Looking for an opportunity to chip in and help the planet? DCR is hosting its annual Earth Week park cleanup today. If you’d like to spend Earth Day volunteering your time and beautifying our state’s public spaces, click here to find a park near you.

P.S. — Did you catch The Common’s Earth Week coverage? Listen now for a closer look into some of Massachusetts’ most prevalent climate issues and how different parts of the city are feeling the effects right now from the Boston Harbor Islands to Chinatown.

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Hanna Ali Associate Producer
Hanna Ali is an associate producer for newsletters at WBUR.



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