The Peterborough Examiner e-edition

Green space needed for mental health

Mental Health Week is a time to think about how we support positive mental health and how we injure it. It is beneficial to mental health to spend time in nature, to be outside in green space.

Bonnerworth Park is a local green space that is used for lowkey nature time, baseball games and other outdoor activities. Unfortunately, city council decided to pave it all over for 16 pickleball courts and a large parking lot.

The park is surrounded by a number of sites for children, a public school, a daycare, an outdoor school and families in apartments and homes. They will be affected by the loss of green space and by the chronic noise of pickleball that could be played as late as 10 at night.

Chronic noise has been found to be detrimental to children’s cognitive and emotional health.

If the courts are developed and the land is paved, children will be hit by both the loss of a positive green space and the constant stress of noise. Adults, too.

There’s another negative mental health impact that young people are experiencing these days — the sense that adults are not looking out for them enough when it comes to protecting nature and tackling climate change.

Those who are coming to play the sport might experience positive aspects of the game, but they would surely also suffer some negative impact to their own mental health knowing that what they’re doing is making the people in the neighbourhood very, very unhappy.

Noise complaints have already permanently closed down many courts.

Wouldn’t it make sense to work together ahead of time to find a compromise around the scale of the Bonnerworth project or to find an alternate location that would not be challenged constantly and would not cause any distress?

To protect neighbourhood green space and to play the game. Everyone wins.

Caroline Tennent, Peterborough





Toronto Star Newspapers Limited