The weather’s bad, but we can’t let it stop us from enjoying the best of the park. 

Auckland-based writer and blogger Shawangunk Grasslands has been living and working in the city’s parklands since 2012, and says she’s seen it all over.

“The most depressing thing is that we can be optimistic about everything, but when it comes to our parks, it’s completely different,” she says.

“You can’t get excited about the park and say, ‘I’ll just do this and then go to the beach and play, but it’ll be a little bit easier to stay indoors’.”

So what do you do if you’re in the mood for a bit of optimism?

“I think it’s important to be optimistic, even if it means feeling a bit disappointed,” Ms Shawangunk says.

The first step to being optimistic is acknowledging your surroundings.

“Just because you’re sitting at a picnic table and there’s a few trees that aren’t a foot apart, that doesn’t mean there’s no trees.

There’s a lot of trees that don’t even have a leaf,” Ms Shawanks said.”

But you have to acknowledge that it’s not always easy to see through the noise of the street and to see the trees.”

When you’re walking through a forest, you can see things from a distance and there are things in the trees that you can’t see because they’re so far away, but that’s okay.

“It’s not about how much you can get out of the trees and the people you pass, it doesn’t matter.”

Be aware of the potential danger.

“In our parks we always see people walking up to a tree and then they come down and start running away and then people can see them,” Ms Shayanks says. 

“That’s when you have a bit more confidence in your surroundings.”

You can take a walk along a path or take the time to take a few steps out to the horizon.

“There are so many great paths, so many trails that we all love. 

You can also take a nice walk and take a break from the busy life that’s going on in your life and just enjoy the view.”

If you have any questions or concerns about your parks, Ms Shawanks recommends asking locals.

“People will usually say, if you know about something in the park, go and look for it.

So it’s a bit like asking if you can buy a pair of shoes at the store,” she said.

The best advice for those wanting to improve their parks would be to keep them clean, safe and attractive.

“I would always advise people to go and do their own research.

If you’re a beginner and don’t know what to do, you could start by finding a local park ranger and see what you can do to make your park a bit better,” Ms Shaenks says