I've seen and heard a lot of people sneer at and deride the idea of a Downtown Park here in Lubbock. Even though I find their pessimism irritating, I do understand their points- what if it isn't maintained? What if it's overrun by the homeless? What if it's simply a waste of money and space?

But it's like my dad always said- what if monkeys grew wings? "What if" questions are rarely useful, especially if you have no personal ability or motivation to affect the outcome.

Why not ask this "what if" question- what if it's a miracle?

Photo by Leo Rivas on Unsplash
Photo by Leo Rivas on Unsplash

Most of us want a vibrant and culturally rich downtown area. Huge strides have already happened. Hip businesses have opened up, as have really cool apartments. First Friday Art Trail brings scores of people into and near the area every month. In my opinion, the next vital step is a park, for a few reasons.

Downtown Lubbock has its own beauty and charm, but it leaves you craving trees and grass. In addition to making an area more beautiful and relaxing, green spaces help offset the heat. The shade will provide respite to people walking through the area, but there are longer-term positive effects as well:

Creating more green spaces in urban areas can not only add natural beauty to cities, but it can also improve the health and well-being of its residents. In addition, increasing biodiversity in urban areas can reduce smog and air pollution, retain rainwater, and trap CO2.

I think some people have the idea that the park will just be benches and a playground, like our neighborhood parks (for which I am very grateful, in spite of their simplicity). That is not the plan at all, this park is planned to be an amenities dream come true:

 The space is envisioned to have open lawn space, a multi-use stage, a splash pad, a pet relief area, a public art corner, a game zone for outdoor activities, a food truck court, and other features to enable the park to be a thriving heartbeat and hub of activity in downtown Lubbock.

The larger vision is that the park will create more desire for the area, so more people chose to live there, more businesses open, etc. Or in other words, make Downtown what we've all always wanted. I'm all for it.

It may be foolish, but I'd rather be optimistic and hopeful about the project. If we all are, we can absolutely make a miracle happen. To follow the project, head to Downtown LBK's website. 

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