East side park worth the effort for residents
Last month, the Eudora City Council made a future east-side park a reality when it included money for land and playground equipment in its 2003 budget.
Although the majority of the council enthusiastically supported the park, a decision that wasn't made without some resistance of the kind that should be expected in a growing community. It is a natural response to protect and advocate for the familiar over the new.
The proposed east-side park illustrates why council members must move beyond this view and respond to the needs of newer residents. Kids being kids, they will find a place to play. Parents in the fast-growing eastside neighborhood have noted with the current situation that place is often in the street. Should they want to visit a park with playground equipment, they must make a lengthy trip to a park west of Church Street. Given the number of new rooftops that have bloomed in the neighborhood in the past four to five years, the park is not only needed but overdue.
Even with the council's admirable resolve to move on the park, it is unlikely it will be open by next summer. It takes time to convert a piece of raw nature into a park setting. Still, there are steps the council could take to expedite the process. Council members have already identified two pieces of property that could serve the city's needs. With money appropriated for next year, we would encourage the city to start negotiations on the purchase of the land soon.
We hope the council puts the east-side park near the top of its 2003 to-do list.