Editor, The Beacon:
On a dank recent morning walk through Lake Beresford Park just about dawn, I had occasion to pass through the equally dank tunnel passing under the railroad tracks there and recalled how, some time ago, some enterprising artist had painted a colorful inoffensive mural that government painted over with its dismal dark gray.
I wondered if this was a metaphor for the way much of our elected officialdom deals with the populace. The Southridge Country Club issue came to mind.
I recalled how county government had to be led kicking and screaming into the trails at Beresford by the efforts of just a few of their peers, like Pat Northey, 20 years after Pinellas County already had about 30 miles of trail.
I recalled also how Pinellas County always had far better high-school runners.
By the way, on my trek, I encountered about 40 other walkers, runners and cyclists, and it wasn’t yet 7:30 a.m.
During one of its last years as a golf course, I had occasion to map out, measure and direct a 5K running race over the glorious rolling terrain of Southridge. Somehow, the event organizer, Florida Hospital, couldn’t get the city to allow the road race they’d held for several years; instead, they got permission to use the golf course.
In spite of having to work around the greens and some other obstacles, we had a decent course. However, I had time to envision woodchip trails and such winding through the property with local schools using it for cross-country meets and other uses beneficial to the well-being of the community.
Although there have been weeks of reporting on many residents’ wonderful views on community use for this precious property, will anyone be surprised when the powers that be paint over this last-of-its-kind opportunity?
Where is a Pat Northey to champion this cause?
It seems to me that such a project would be exactly the kind of project that could get federal assistance from the infrastructure investment that is moving through Congress.