In the past few weeks I've managed to spend some time in the Katrina-beaten, former golf course in City Park. It's beautiful. Not as quiet as I'd like because it it's nearness to I-10 and 610 but a wonderful escape from the nearness of people and houses and cars. It's a lot like the open spaces and parks of other cities I've been in and always wished for here. Audubon is nice but it's so civilized and tended and close to everything else. City Park is nice too but it is either over developed or it was off limits to the common folk because so much of it was a golf course... but thanks to Katrina not any more.
I think that humans need open spaces, green spaces, a little bit of wilderness. It keeps us alive and makes room for creativity. On one of my walks on the old golf course there was a guy on a skate board with a kite and he was having a fine time zooming along the old cart pathways. We have Frisbee golf course. Would we have had that without the emptiness to inspire us?
I want them to leave some of the old golf course for people and bikes instead of resigning those who can't pay to the edges of the roadways for cars. I know, I know but how to pay for upkeep? What about a sin tax on candy, soda, chips... a penny a bar, can, bag... with the proceeds going to City Park to encourage people of all walks to just walk or ride a bike or ... you never know where it could lead.
My walking along the abandoned golf course made me remember Richard Campanella encouraging City Hall to try and get the DOTD to leave the Twin Spans in place so that the common folk would have a place to see nature, feel the lake breezes and fish. Richard Campanella is a renowned geographer and he knows New Orleans so I'm trying to figure out why no one in City Hall is listening to his suggestion. Bob Marshall encouraged us to listen but ...
Doesn't anyone realize that one of the reasons it has been so easy for local folks to put their head in the sand about what's been happening to our coastline is that so many of us don't have the means to enjoy the great outdoors? No golf club membership or green fees... no fishing boat... not even a small one... some folks don't have cars... City Park wild space in the abandoned golf course is there for everyone even those folks who might have to take the bus or ride a bike to get there. The Twin Spans could be there for all of us who don't have boats but who might want a taste of the lake or fishing or crabbing. Awareness is half the battle.
If it's easier to absorb a little of Mother Nature's wildness maybe there won't be so much wildness and killing in the streets and maybe we'd all stay a little more aware of just how important nature is to us.