Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Avoid the Passive

Hiking on Bear Mountain a few weeks ago, I was reading (of course I read while I walk--doesn't everyone?).

The map. I was reading the map.

And the promotional/explanatory text. Bcs I'm not sure you can really *read* a map. I thnk you *look at* a map.

But anyway, there's a stretch of land that's part of the system that was acquired in 1987 via tax delinquency.

It is dedicated to "passive recreation."

The Girl and I got a huge chuckle out of that. How do you passively recreate? (not that you recreate as a verb; we established that earlier)

It does have a meaning--this is another case of "Don't Let Them Get Their Hands on Their Own Jargon."

Passive recreation refers to non-consumptive uses such as wildlife observation, walking, biking, and canoeing.

Passive recreation may be defined as a non-motorized activity that:

-Offers constructive, restorative, and pleasurable human benefits and fosters appreciation and understanding of open space and its purpose
-Is compatible with other passive recreation uses
-Does not significantly impact natural, cultural, scientific, or agricultural values
-Requires only minimal visitor facilities and services directly related to safety and minimizes passive recreation impacts

Definitions vary by locality. The following is an example of what falls under the definition of one community's passive recreation area:
6 conservation reservations
10 municipal parking lots
18 parks
75 traffic islands at 58 locations throughout the Town
3 walking paths or parkways
Police Station grounds
Town Forest

So there you go--a term that doesn't make any sense.

(don't start me on "carbon footprint"--that's another post completely)


Drew said...

So I'd be recreating actively if I was consuming materials to relax? In which case I wouldn't creating anything and I definitely be re-creating anything. Would I have to be a lumberjack to actively recreate?

TootsNYC said...

If you were consuming materials, you'd create something all right! Eventually. And I wonder if such -- ahem -- materials could be said to have been re-created?

Drew said...

The confusion between consuming, creating, recreating and re-creating make for some wonderful linguistic loopholes to fall through.

mighty red pen said...

See now my question was also going to be about "non-consumptive," which immediately made me think "If I eat a chipmunk, would that be active recreation?"

JD said...

I suppose 'reading' a map means 'looking at and understanding' a map, similar to reading someone's expression.

Editrix said...

I'm so glad you brought up the "re-create"/"recreate" thing. There's a certain poem I've come across in more than one book ("We All Stood Together" by Merle Feld) that contains the line "If we remembered it [i.e., history ]together / We could recreate holy time / Sparks flying." Sometimes it's rendered "recreate," and other times it's rendered "re-create," and that makes me crazy because they're two different words, for Christ's sake. Who knows which meaning Feld was actually going for?

TootsNYC said...

well, is non-consumptive, TB free?

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