For the past several years, I have been the sole owner of 2650 North Old Wire Road, just a bit less than an acre of land situated on the ridge overlooking Gulley Park. The partially burned house has been cleared from the site, as well as an over-abundance of vegetation. Six mature yellow pines shade the east side, while the side nearer the road has seven large oaks. I have walked the park, sometimes several times a day, in all sorts of weather. For three years. I am beginning to understand that piece of land, what it might become with careful management.

Since the city saw fit to lease two of Dunn’s ten acres to Appleseeds, and Appleseeds appears to be prospering, I suggest that they be given more land, the entire meadow in fact. Good farming practice, organic biodynamic biologic, improves the nutrient value of topsoil, and increases permeability. Thus reducing runoff, thus conserving topsoil. The pond was built for that express purpose in the 1930’s. We should be restoring the pond.

Initially, Appleseeds was shoe-horned into a residential zoning by a novel interpretation of conditional use. The Appleseeds site does not having sufficient parking space for school buses. Students walk the several hundred yards from the public parking lot to the south. With the upcoming road improvements, a bus lane along Old Wire Road would be safer and much more convenient for the schools.

Good fences…it is hard to argue with the reality that deer will destroy urban gardens, that the surest solution is a tall, strong fence. I have rarely seen deer in the park during daylight hours, they are there at night. Thus, the fence serves to repel people during the day. What I would like to suggest is a slightly more expansive, inclusive approach. What would it cost, for instance, to fence the entire six or seven acres above the pine trees, provide three covered gateways for access, and let the public stroll through during the day? What would the effect be, having a large active garden enterprise in the middle of a city park, fully accessible to the public? Would anybody support that idea?

As to 2650 NOW…what would that be like? Can we even imagine that far into the future? Looking back that far puts us in the middle of the 14th century (about the time that rats and bubonic plague came to visit). I imagine, as Thoreau did, ”…a larger and more populous house…a vast, rude, substantial hall with bare rafters and purlins supporting a sort of lower heaven over one’s head…” A community building, perhaps?