Desert Companion
 
Subscribe now
Current Issue
JULY 2014
Click the cover to read the complete digital edition
Features
Dealicious Meals

Departments
All things to all people
Community
Editor's Note
End Note
Notes and letters
Take 5
the guide
upcoming events
Take 5
July 23, 5:30-9p. Children will enjoy face-painting, magic shows, games, balloon animals, arts and crafts, costumed characters and so much more!...   
Roadrunners: zippy, darty, a blur of motion! What if, artist Alisha Kerlin wondered after seeing a roadrunner doorstop at a swap meet, you turned...   
July 24, 7p and July 25, 10:30a. This energetic, bilingual, pop music show is an outstanding experience for families and their young kids. $3. July...   
  0

The thing about exercise is it’s so ... exercisey. Every time I work out — and by “work out” I mean oversleep (again, whoops!) and do a bunch of frantic sit-ups and push-ups and maybe a downward-facing dog and then a quick, cartilage-grinding dash around the neighborhood — I can’t help but think, “You know, I wouldn’t need this absurd ritual if I were an old-school hunter-gatherer, compelled to roam the danger-fraught earthscape for nuts and berries while also avoiding saber-toothed tigers.” When you’re getting chased by tigers, the pounds just melt away naturally. Needing to exercise is a symptom of the whole world having a desk job.

Which is hardly anyone’s fault. Let me state for the record: Exercise — it’s great! My point is that the formal institution of exercise — let’s call it Fitness, Inc. — with its gyms, fads, diets, books, apps, gurus, contests and contraptions, has sunk a taproot into our peculiarly human penchant to schizophrenically compartmentalize our lives: This is desk job, this is (huff! puff! pant!) exercise. That arrangement, I fear, can distract us from the more challenging and less glamorous dialogue about creating a healthier community wherein we consider active lifestyles literally at ground level: That is, by creating a more walkable community. This isn’t about guiltily torching the calories from last night’s bucket of buffalo wings on The Body Inquisitor at your local gymporium. It’s about a brisk ritual stroll to your neighborhood park to meander meaningfully with the dog and tykes. Call it the great(ish) outdoors.

[HEAR MORE: Can Las Vegas become a walkable city on “KNPR’s State of Nevada.”]

According to countless studies, walkable communities are healthier, safer and more economically prosperous. Sure, tent-poling our town with all-in-one urban shopping experience megaplexes is, arguably, a baby-step in the right direction, but I’m watching other projects take shape in the valley with much more satisfaction, such as Clark County’s trails project that’s transforming the Las Vegas Wash into an urban nature walk right in our own backyard (clarkcountynv.gov, search “trails”). Even more ambitious is the Outside Las Vegas Foundation’s mission to string together the valley’s natural headliners, from Red Rock to Lake Mead and Sloan Canyon to the proposed Ice Age National Monument, into a grand loop of more than 100 miles called the Vegas Valley Rim Trail (see outsidelasvegas.org).

They’re two admirable projects — and their benefits go well beyond the fuzzy, feelgood variety of being, you know, somehow kinda good for the good of the community in some way. They’re also part of a different, happier kind of trickle-down economics in which public investment in our shared spaces pays off. According to a recent study by the Outdoor Industry Association, spending on outdoor recreation is “an overlooked economic giant,” generating $646 billion annually — compare that to $428 billion spent annually on “gasoline and other fuels.” In Nevada alone, we spend $14.9 billion a year on outdoors activity, which generates $1 billion in state and local taxes. Leisure, it turns out, does a lot of heavy lifting.

This is welcome news, especially given the constant chorus about the need to give our state economy a few more stool legs to stand on — a chorus rising predictably anew now that the Legislature’s back in session. Can I get a sponsor for my proposed resolution requiring lawmakers to walk to the legislative chambers? A little circulation will do us all some good.

***

Hey, here’s a chance for you to better enjoy your own great outdoors (also known as your yard): Join us 9:30 a.m. March 23 at Plant World Nursery (5301 W. Charleston Blvd., 878-9485, plantworldnursery.com). We’ll be chatting with horticulturist and KNPR’s “Desert Bloom” commentator Norm Schilling, who’ll dish on spring gardening, pruning tips and his favorite plants. Just bring your toughest gardening questions — the coffee’s on us.


Comments





























































 

Best Doctor
Play the desert companion video

DC Scene
Recent Posts
7/22/14  
Hey, you using that blood?
7/21/14  
What's in a name?
7/18/14  
NAACP invites Las Vegas to Mandalay Bay
{more posts...}


Archives
Archives

Newstand Locations
Pick up your Desert Companion today at one of these Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf or Jamba Juice locations.
Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf LAKE MEAD & TENAYA
7291 W Lake Mead
Directions


PALMS CASINO
4321 W Flamingo Rd
Directions


UNLV
4550 W Maryland Pkwy Suite A
Directions


CARNIVALE
3377 Las Vegas Blvd
The Venetian Food Court
Directions


THE LAKES
9091 W Sahara Ave
Directions


THE DISTRICT
2220 Village Walk Dr Suite 140
Directions


MIRACLE MILE
3663 Las Vegas Blvd S Suite 45
Directions


CANYON POINT
10834 W Charleston Blvd Suite 200
Directions


TOWN CENTER
3645 S Town Center Dr Suite 101
Directions


PATRICK
6115 S Rainbow Blvd Suite 101
Directions


PALAZZO
3265 Las Vegas Blvd, Suite 1600
Directions


TOWN SQUARE
6599 Las Vegas Blvd, South #P-8149
Directions


BRIDGE
3377 Las Vegas Blvd
The Venetian
Directions


BOULDER CITY
Boulder Dam Credit Union
530 Avenue G
Boulder City NV
Directions

Jumba Juice

PEBBLE
1500 N. Green Valley Pkwy Suite 240
Directions


SAHARA & EASTERN
2675 S. Eastern Ave Suite 400
Directions


MCCARRAN MARKETPLACE
5905 S Eastern Ave Suite 108
Directions
NORTH MESA PLAZA
1829 W. Craig Road Unit 3
Directions


CANNERY CORNER
2546 E. Craig Road Suite 135
Directions


WESTLAND FAIR
1121 S. Decatur Blvd
Directions



Also available at Clark County and Henderson libraries.
Emerald City Smoothie

ST GEORGE
2376 East Red Cliffs Drive #502
St. George, UT 84790
Directions


Desert Companion