Dear Decaturish – The grass in Legacy Park is too greenLegacy Park on S. Columbia Drive in the city of Decatur on August 12, 2020. The park occupies the former site of the United Methodist Children’s Home. Photo by Dean Hesse.
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Given the recent controversy surrounding Legacy Park, I thought it prudent to throw my hat into the ring. While I respect the opinions of both sides and the myriad forms of impassioned action and commitment to the conversation that have evolved, I think it’s time that someone says what everyone in Decatur is thinking: The grass in Legacy Park is far, far too green.
With a name like “Legacy,” do you imagine lush, wide fields, teeming with life? I thought not; you imagine an arid wasteland with Mad Max style bandits in slipshod clunkers fighting over stale bread with a flock of carrion birds. It’s not called “Modern Park” or “New Park” for a reason, and the state of the vegetation there needs to reflect that.
While the paved roads and the gravel are in sufficient condition, the rest of the park is not. I don’t even need a machete to whack my way through the trail in the woods, nor do I need to watch out for starving alligators near the pond. I can safely bring a picnic to eat there with my family in peace any day of the week – that is unacceptable. Anytime I take my grandkids there, they always ask me: “Gampa, where are the dust devils? Where are the tumbleweeds?”
Would you, dear reader, be able to look into their eyes and tell them: “Sorry kids, but this park is verdant and bursting to the seams with healthy plants and happy people.” It brings tears to my eyes every time those words cross the trembling barrier of my quivering lips. Where are all of Decatur’s many displaced and desperate coyotes, jackrabbits, rattlesnakes and cacti supposed to live? Why are there so many trees?
If we must keep the nature trails, I suggest we divide Legacy Park into two distinct areas: Unnavigable rainforest jungle with giant mosquitos (and I mean GIANT), and sci-fi dystopian badlands. Not only will this give the park some much needed character, but it will also better befit the name. As well, it will save the city a lot of money, which we can use to improve other areas (such as the train tracks; namely, removing them).
The community should be ashamed at the thought of the state of this park. It is clearly looked after with great care and attention to detail, with blatant disregard to the very idea it was founded on. “The grass is always greener on the other side.” Well, Legacy Park is not on the other side. It’s right here in our community. We ought to respect that, and the solution is simple.
I propose we cease all lawn care operations at the park until the plants are adequately devoid of all life and vibrancy, and that we should release at least two-dozen piranhas into the lake, as well as a litany of jaguars and other jungle creatures into the woods immediately whilst regularly spraying the desert area with potent weedkiller. We are better than this.
– Eugene Footrest
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