The Lake Park by day

The Lake Park: A Changing Place Where I Care About

My name is Yegyeong and I’m from Korea. There is a Lake Park named “Manseok Park” nearby my house. Since it is only a 3-minute walk from my house, I have been a frequent visitor to the park from when I started to live here. I visit the park for jogging, as a light exercise in order to stay healthy. Sometimes I take a walk around the park, with my earphones on and listening to my favorite music when I feel a little bit depressed. Then the Lake Park really helps me refresh myself. At the moment, I can feel some mysterious – and somewhat thankful in a sense to me – power of the park in that I always come to feel much better when encountering the liveliness of a myriad of creatures living out there. There are many greenish trees, colorful flowers that range from red to purple, ducks lazily paddling, quacking and sometimes putting their faces into the water and big carp swimming in the lake of the park. The landscape truly soothes me; I can forget and be free from my worries even for a while sitting on a bench.


The Lake Park by day


However, I come to be aware of climate change in this place. It was a story of only a few days ago. There was the news telling that cherry blossoms would start blooming on the earliest day since the records began. Of course, cherry blossoms in the Lake Park also started to bloom much earlier than they did last year. So I went to see the flowers with great haste this time. Cherry blossoms were already beautifully bloomed and many people were there to leave the fully pink-colored moments of spring with photos. Unfortunately, the blossoms only stayed for a very short period this year and greenish leaves rapidly replaced the flowers’ vacancy. This was what I could obviously perceive and be sad for. I recognized that global warming, as a part of worldwide climate change, was having a significant impact on my objects of care – the Lake Park. Actually, the Lake Park is not the only place where global warming is showing itself in Korea. We originally have four distinctive seasons here – spring, summer, fall and winter – and each season is expected to continue for 3 months. However, it’s been a while for summer and winter to get longer and harsher; we have been experiencing hotter summers and colder winters year by year. Contrary to this, spring and fall are getting too short that they are almost like vanishing.


The Lake Park with cherry blossoms this year


The Lake Park with cherry blossoms last year


Back to the Lake Park, it is the story of not only me, but also of all my neighborhoods: people who delightfully ride a bike, enjoy the jets of water dancing to the music, children playing around and even a dog happily running around with its tail wagging. They all feel the changing seasons with their bodies in the park, a very lively place. If climate change keeps exacerbating, however, the park could be no more a good place to take a rest for all those visitors of the park. It might be hard to go to the park in summer and winter especially since it is too hot or too cold at this rate. Instead, people might stay at home and use air conditioners, electric fans and heaters, which are to make the vicious cycle toward climate change in the end. Now I argue that people must realize the seriousness of climate change by paying a close attention to their own changing living places, just as the case of the Lake Park I wrote. We should care about the places that have been a crucial ground for our lives and then always be aware of whether the places are suffering a hard time because of climate change or not.


The Lake Park at night