Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Poverty of Spirit

As the race for council seats in Brunswick MD gets underway and citizens are thinking about what they would like to change or improve in our City, I would like to explore an aspect of the larger problem of the relationship of City Hall to the community that I have been thinking about for some time.

How the City maintains and manages city property, the spaces that are open to all citizens and the public, that are often welcoming signs to visitors and which serve as strong visual clues to the spirit of a place, are in a state of poverty and neglect. There is an utter lack of consciousness and care in our public landscapes.

Square Corner Park is a good place to start, arguably the most cared for and most visible of the Downtown public properties. While it almost always comes down to a retort of lack of funding, the following cost nothing to improve other than someone caring about a job well done. I am 110% behind recycling containers in the park. Six of them are overkill causing excessive visual clutter and physically inhibiting the proper function of other facilities, for no particular reason other than thoughtlessness. If they must be stored in the park, there are less obtrusive place to put them than in the welcoming viewshed. Does a port-a-potty really need to be feet away from the drinking fountain, and so up front in the park? And no, these photos are not taken the morning after an event; these are taken today, 2 ½ weeks after July’s first Friday.

What is the point of having beautiful new benches if this is how they are treated?

Bike racks are at a premium downtown, is this really the best use of space?

On a positive note, a very skilled volunteer recently pruned the winter storm damage and low hanging branches of the established Cherry trees. Thank you, Mr. Olson.

Stay tuned, more to follow…

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