If you’re ever in Birmingham, Alabama for a conference or meeting and you find that you cannot sit through one more mind-numbing presentation or panel discussion or visit one more convention booth, let me make a suggestion:
Go back to your hotel. Grab your sneakers or a comfortable pair of shoes and walk, drive, bike, catch a bus or cab to the Railroad Park.
Railroad Park is a 19-acre green space in downtown Birmingham on First Avenue South between 14th and 18th streets. It’s directly across from the new Regions baseball stadium.
The Railroad Park's amenities include walking and jogging trails and playgrounds as well as a boardwalk, a natural amphitheater, a lake and several ponds, brooks and wetlands.
The park also features annual, biennial, and perennial flowers, more than 600 trees like the Princeton Elm, and ornamental grasses like Gulf muhly.
If you’re fortunate, you may see a CSX or Norfolk-Southern train move down the tracks that run along the north end of the park.
Will the rumble of the trains, the hum of cars and trucks on the street, or the occasional ice cream truck blaring a music box version of Scott Joplin’s “The Entertainer” spoil your tranquility?
Once you recline on the grass or walk along one of the trails or jog past the tall grasses swaying and hear the whistle of a passing train, you’ll relax. You clenched jaw will loosen. You’ll take a slow, deep breath, and then you'll exhale and think, “Why didn’t I tip out of that meeting sooner?”
For more details about Railroad Park in Birmingham, visit the website at www.railroadpark.org.