I went looking for information on the Inner Arbor Trust to write this post and, to my surprise, I found this. Wow. That's me. That's my testimony at a CA Board Meeting in support of the Inner Arbor plan for Symphony Woods. Of course there's much more information at the IAT site, but it gave me a little thrill to see myself there.
That, in a nutshell, is what is vitally important about the Inner Arbor. It is a park where all kinds of Columbians will be able to see themselves. It will be a place for all generations. It will foster cultural celebrations that acknowledge our beautiful diversity. It is an expression of who we are today, where we have come from, and where we are going tomorrow.
The creation of Columbia, with its buildings and villages, green space and pathways, institutions and institutional process is something that benefits all of us. But it is also a product of its time, and more importantly, was never intended to be static, but, to grow. And the Inner Arbor responds to our need for a community park which is as engaging and inspiring as the creation of Columbia itself.
Tonight there will be a Planning Board hearing on the first phase of the plan, which includes The Chrysalis, an amphitheater. The meeting starts at 7:00 pm. You can send support by email (see link) or you can come testify in person. Or you can just come and show your support by being there. I believe they will do separate sign-ins, "for" and "against". (Yes, numbers count.)
But more important than that is who sees themself in the park. Who imagines, desires, recognizes, chooses the importance of a park which is, by design, inclusive in its scope. The struggle in our community to create this park truly holds up a mirror to who we are. We need to look long and hard at what we see.
If you can see yourself, your children, teens, or grandchildren in this park--speak up. If you can see how it would encourage young professionals and young families to choose Columbia, speak up. To paraphrase a well-known saying, "We have seen the future, and it is Us."
And it's going to be really, really fun.