Staff Blogger: Alexis Oatman, Advancement/Communications Intern

6My walk begins at Poplar Avenue and Second Street near Perry Park. The water is calm as the light shines over the park as if angels were peering through the clouds. The sun is hot and beating, but the lake brings in a refreshing breeze over my skin.

Perry Park Playground has been an important gathering place for 1families and children each summer. Various events and activities take place here, including Wednesday Family Picnics, weddings, family reunions, tennis matches and more.

The Wednesday Night Family Picnic has grown to become one of Lakeside Chautauqua’s most popular summer traditions. The picnic has seen as many as 530 people attend on a single night. The food is picnic fare, but the real draw is the relaxing and tranquil setting combined with the spirit of community and fellowship.

4As I continue my route, I see various Lakesiders walking alone or exercising in a group. With some of the daunting hills along this street, you will get a workout whether you like it or not.

Along the street, I see various charming cottages and gardens; each unique in its own way. There are so many different colors and sizes.

Once the southern end of Poplar is reached, the ethereal 5Chautauqua Park sits on top of the hill. Covered in beautiful colors and flowers, I can see why people find peace here.

Chautauqua Park was dedicated to celebrate the circle of life. A portion of this land is used for the memorial garden, which opened June 2013. The memorial garden serves as a place where the living can reflect and connect spiritually, loved ones can be remembered, special occasions can be celebrated and the beauty of nature can be embraced.

8Within the memorial garden, the cremated remains of loved ones can be placed in the ground, within a biodegradable container, to become part of the soil, giving life to the garden’s many perennial plants and trees.

The harmony between landscape design, architecture and art at Chautauqua Park provides an inspiring place for meditation, prayer and worship throughout all seasons.

Poplar Avenue is full amazing sights and sounds. This walk is something everyone at Lakeside should partake in to not only feel a good burn, but to find some peace.