Olive Street Park alternatives
[Ref: “Olive Street Park plan draws scrutiny,” Vol. 9, Issue 9, or online at bit.ly/2o0hHSN]
Thanks for shedding some light on this issue, Ken! As a resident of Bankers Hill, it’s been an eyesore and I’ll be glad to see it improved.
That being said, it seems a tad unnecessary to have a mini-park that will almost assuredly become a dog poop park right across the street from one of the most amazing parks in the entire country!
I think the space would be much better utilized as a community garden! There are many agencies in the community that could benefit from freshly grown, donated produce. A great way to be more beneficial to the community that has suffered losses of loved ones from HIV and AIDS would be to use the produce to donate healthful meals to those in our community who are living with this disease currently. The memorial is a good idea in theory, but ultimately, it’s hidden in a tiny neighborhood corner park as what will likely appear to be an afterthought. The community backlash reflects this opinion as well.
In addition to this being an opportunity to help those in need of the health benefits that fresh and organic produce would provide, there are a plethora of other ways this would benefit the neighborhood:
There are two nearby schools that are one block away that could learn about gardening and the health values of eating fruits and vegetables. Studies have shown that kids get excited about healthy food when they help grow it! It’s a science, agriculture, health and community service classroom lesson all rolled into one!
There are many senior centers in the area and not a lot of activities for the folks who are living there within walking distance. A volunteer gardening club could help run the operations at the garden. Again, studies have shown that being active in the community can ward off disease, depression and even premature death. Keeping our valuable senior community active and sharing their knowledge with a future generation of potential farmers is invaluable! These are just a couple of examples of how a community garden would be more beneficial to the community than a hidden memorial or a mini park.
I know this is a late-in-the-game suggestion, but hopefully the community agrees and we can make our voices heard at the next Uptown planning meeting!
The next meeting is Tuesday, April 3, at 6 p.m. at the Joyce Beers Uptown Community Center. The meetings are held at the Joyce Beers Uptown Community Center, 1230 Cleveland Ave. the first Tuesday of every month.
—Ann Feister, via our website.
A memorial should represent its community that it’s placed in. Bringing people together, not dividing them. This does not have the public support. Third and Olive Street is a small multi-use, little park in an obscure, out of sight and out of mind location not suited for a city AIDS memorial.
AIDS, the “gay plague,” is very much a part of our LGBTQ history. Hillcrest is the neighborhood where the AIDS memorial story should be told and displayed for future generations to come. HIV/AIDS is still not over. It is now a manageable disease but there is still no cure. Prevention to educate all, especially our gay youth, should be our top priority to stop the spread of HIV/AIDS. Let’s go for the cure.
—Rick Wilson, via email.
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