Couple take the Santa Clarita park challenge

Penni and Art Perrault, of Valencia, had visited all 34 Santa Clarita city parks with their dog, Sundance, when they realized a 35th park — Plum Canyon Park — had opened. Now, they plan to start the circuit again. Courtesy photo

By Penni Perrault
Guest Contributor

In March, after a week or so into the stay-at-home order due to the pandemic, my husband and I were beginning to feel cabin fever. Though we are both long-time Santa Clarita residents and retired, we are usually on the go, and not used to staying inside. We wanted to try to think of something to do that was positive and productive.

I was commiserating with my friend Natalie, and she said, “Did you know there are 34 local Santa Clarita parks here? My husband and I set a goal of visiting every one of them — we are on No. 8 now!”

What an idea! We walk our beautiful lab, Sundance, daily anyway – so, let’s take on that challenge.

We downloaded the city parks list, and started with No. 1 – Almendra Park in Canyon Country. Every day, we loaded Sundance into our car – we even installed a doggy seat belt so he would be safe in the back seat.

What a joy to walk each park and see how different each one was! From huge Central Park, with its many trails, gardens, dog parks and fields, to the smaller Todd Longshore Park in Canyon Country — nice and shady on a hot day. Valencia Summit Park is special, with its rolling hills and lovely trail. Veterans Historical Plaza isn’t exactly a park, but is a source of pride for every Santa Clarita resident.

Happy to say, yesterday we hiked park No. 34. Then we found out there is a new park that opened this week, and that is Plum Canyon Park. So we hiked it today, and that makes park No. 35! Now we will start over. We will put Sundance’s leash on, get in the car and explore our favorite parks.

Yes, there can be “life during COVID” – you just have to go outside and find it.

Penni and Art Perrault are Valencia residents.

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