Oregon: Embrace the Outdoors this Winter

The winter months can be depressing. With the days being so short and the nights feeling long, most winter activities focus on staying in climate controlled indoor spaces. The pandemic leaves us without that crutch during this winter.

So how do we embrace the winter months ahead? For one, we should encourage our businesses and neighbors to keep up their holiday lights well beyond the New Year. It's much safer and more inviting to have our streets and business districts teeming with holiday lights. Ordinances that typically require lights to be taken down the week after New Year's should be extended to early March.

Additionally, cities should provide more opportunities for outdoor markets. Our empty streets and parking lots can be easily repurposed to host pop-up shops, and hot cocoa stands. With our parks becoming our new outdoor living rooms, permitting food carts and outdoor seating would go a long way to activating what can be very dead spaces during the winter.

Lastly, but most importantly, Oregonian's need to learn to live with our wonderful climate. There's an old Finnish saying: "There is no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing." Invest in a hard shell rain coat, a good pair of waterproof boots and gloves. You won't regret it.

Winter comes every year, so let's get creative and learn to embrace it.