New park would be surprising asset

Published 7:55 pm Friday, December 26, 2014

To the editor:

As we prepare for a new year, I wish the mayor and members of Suffolk City Council would consider resolving to give the people of Suffolk a present that will keep on giving for generations to come.

The gift would be to make a park out of the city-owned old Louise Obici Hospital property along our beautiful Nansemond River, an action that would preserve the green space there, providing walking trails, bike paths, picnic areas, fishing, kayaking and educational opportunities.

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Suffolk is one of the fastest-growing cities in the area, and 100 years from now, expansion will have eaten all the land close to the heart of the city.

One cannot imagine New York without Central Park or Boston without Public Garden Park. Fortunately for the citizens of those cities, their forefathers, who were wise leaders, had the wisdom and generosity to preserve a place to provide healthy family activities, solace and peace in the midst of what has become concrete and skyscrapers.

It might be momentarily more profitable for the Obici property to be used for another housing development, fast food chains or another shopping center, but in the long run, families and future generations deserve to have available a place to find peace of mind and restore the soul during their hectic, everyday lives.

I hope the City Council of Suffolk will exhibit wisdom similar to that of the leaders in New York and Boston and consider preservation as a tribute and enduring legacy to Amedeo Obici, who invested so much into the health of our community and its citizens.

If such a park were built, visitors would be greeted by it when entering our city, and they would have good reason to think of this as “Surprising Suffolk.”

Monette R. Harrell