I would like to shed some more light on how I envision my role in West Central Park in the years to come, and why I have chosen to own it privately for the time being. I would also like to explain why I think it would benefit the community to build this park without outside help.
First, I will tell you that to purchase this property outright when I could, was the quickest and surest way I knew of securing the possibility of a park at this corner. Sole ownership has facilitated the process of setting the legal wheels in motion to give this project the best start it can possibly have. By owning it, I can also plant a certain intention, one that has been my vision from the day I bought it. Let this long neglected corner be a neighborhood space that gives to us, instead of takes. A space that requires nothing more from us than to sit and relax, and visit with our neighbors.
My intention is to own the property for at least two more years until I can see that this is truly a project that the community wants to take responsibility for. If the answer is no, I will have to find another use for the corner, and that will be a challenge. It will be tough to find another use that I think will bring as much benefit, but I would try. If the answer is yes, I will give the property to the neighborhood. I envision a nonprofit, foundation or conservancy being set up to own the park, that is wholly managed by a rotating board of neighbors, of those who have and would build the park, and continue to maintain it. This is why I think it is of utmost importance for the community to be invested in and responsible for the park’s development. I believe that when people put their hands and effort in, their hearts soon follow, and it’s going to take a lot of heart, to build and nurture and keep this park for years to come. I truly believe and have faith that the very people who live in the mile radius around this property are the best ones to own and care for it, not the government, not a church and not a school, but yes, the community. It is they who will know the true benefits of having their own neighborhood pedestrian park.
I hope this has helped to clarify my intentions. Please don’t hesitate to contact me with further questions or concerns.