Within the first twelve hours of arriving in Boulder, I found myself atop a rocky structure overlooking the city. There were multiple groups of people there: college students, families with young children, and elderly couples, among others. The hot sun reflected off of my sweat-drenched skin, and my brightly colored running shoes stood out against the red rock. Unsure exactly how I ended up atop this rock, as often happens when I go running in a new place, I took in as much as my senses could absorb. A new place, and endless places to explore by foot.
Moving to a completely new city, with hardly any contacts in the area, is a bit overwhelming. Prior to moving here, I have lived in two places: Burlington, Vermont – what some may describe as a smaller version of Boulder, located in New England on the beautiful coast of Lake Champlain – where I attend school at the University of Vermont; and a small, suburban-rural county outside of Baltimore, Maryland. As an introvert, I revel in spending time alone. I enjoy meeting new people and developing new relationships, but find that I need “me time” to remain energetic and enthusiastic. Hence my daily running routine.
My first week at CEDaR was full of new experiences. Besides a few classes at UVM, I had hardly any experience with green infrastructure. My project, a tree planting program in the Westwood neighborhood, was bound to be an exciting and challenging experience. Our first task was to research literature on effective surveying methods that measured resident attitudes to urban tree planting, keeping in mind the available space and needs of the residents. I have no experience creating or implementing a survey, and quickly realized that urban greening projects involve a much more extensive planning process than I had expected.
Throughout my first week, I got lost running in the city, discovered a few coffee shops to work in, and began the ever-exhausting search for a temporary job, surfing the internet and checking out shops and restaurants looking for new employees. I went to the Farmer’s Market. A friend of mine showed me a small art co-op, a warm and inviting space with talented musicians and artists in Boulder.
I want to embark on an informal, self-guided running tour of the Boulder area. On trails, along the city bike paths, and through bustling urban regions, I hope to discover some beautiful and unconventional new running routes and to see as much of Boulder as I can. I went for a sunset bike ride along the Boulder Creek Path and ran along trails in Boulder Canyon. I am thrilled to be living so close to some truly breathtaking mountains and waters, and look forward to discovering new places to get lost in.