Today: Ann Schinas, who coordinates recreational programs for Three Rivers Parks District, which includes multiple regional parks and trails across the metro.

Reading

A good escapist novel is my favorite. I am reading “A Room Full of Bones” by Elly Griffiths, a mystery novel whose main character is a female forensic archaeologist. The combination of Griffiths’ descriptions of Norfolk sites in England and captivating murder mysteries are a great way to end the day. I am always a fan of a book with a powerful female main character.

Following

Forest trails, river currents and ocean tides. Spending time outdoors is where I am most happy and most me. Whether finding new paths to explore or treading familiar trails with my family and our dog, Hunter, being outside is where I want to be.

Every summer our family goes to Southern California, where I am from, to visit my family. We spend most of our time at the beach, riding waves or walking in the surf. Over Memorial Day weekend I went to the Boundary Waters with some friends and immersed in the solitude of nature. Sitting on the edge of a rock slab, listening to the water lapping on shore, I am home. Connected to the earth and universe, finding stillness within and without. That is the secret to my happiness.

Watching

I am watching climate change drastically impact the natural world and, by extension, our work group, the Outdoor Recreation School.

I coordinate the Nordic ski program for the district, and every year our maintenance crews do an incredible job making snow when Mother Nature doesn’t. Just a few years ago the park district invested in a second snow-making operation at Hyland Lake Park Reserve to supplement the natural snow, but it is quickly becoming a case of the man-made snow at Elm Creek and Hyland parks being some of the only snow around. Working at Three Rivers Parks, we also hear from our natural resource management team about many changes happening with the flora and fauna in our area. This could get depressing, but working for a park district that has as its mission to promote environmental stewardship through recreation and education allows me to be a part of the solution to climate change and to help others find their own connection and appreciation for the natural world. What we love, we take care of.

Listening

I am listening to my daughter play the guitar and sing, and I am playing with her. We are both big fans of Grateful Dead tunes. Next to being active outdoors, making music is the thing that brings peace to my soul. I am so grateful I get to share this passion with my daughter.

Doing

I am spending time with my family and playing outdoors with them. We love paddleboarding, disc golf, archery, fishing and camping. We also enjoy traveling. We have family on both coasts, so going to see family takes us to beautiful places. Still, I love coming home to Minnesota, with its blue sky and 10,000 lakes. Growing up inland in California, I never get tired of blue sky and plentiful water. Life is good in Minnesota!

Bob Timmons