Magical Mystery Tour: CM Turner, New Albany, and Origin Park.

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From 5th district councilman Josh Turner’s monthly newsletter, this statement about Turner’s support for Origin Park, which I recently described here: Beginnings: Origin Park plans are revealed.

A Southern Indiana “Origin” Story

An iconic park is coming to Southern Indiana and has been in the works for quite a while now. The master plan was released at the end of August and according to the News and Tribune “The plans for Origin Park include 35 acres of new park lawns, 22 miles of trails, 4.5 miles of “blueways” to paddle Silver Creek, seven new community gathering shelters and a new public event center. The park will also feature 75,000 new trees over 50 acres, 250 acres of a protected urban forest and 150 acres of naturalized meadows and an oak/hickory savanna.”

I cannot be more excited about this opportunity for our great city. A park of this size will bring new life and new people into our region from all over the country. Unfortunately, the Mayor has not shown any interest in working with the River Heritage Conservancy to make this national treasure a reality in our city. We are actually the only city that has not bought into this plan. Jeffersonville and Clarksville are all in. You can see for yourself the New Albany portion of the Origin Park is on the River Side of the Flood wall and mostly on land that cannot be developed. We need everyone reaching out to your city officials to let them know how important this is. Our city should commit to this private/public partnership for two simple reasons.

1. The park will have continuity across the region and will be designed with respect to the natural lay of the land.

2. It will save the taxpayers money because a large portion of funding is coming from private donations.

I must admit I do not understand how we can commit to a trail all of the way to Bedford when we are not willing to commit to upholding our responsibilities here at home. It would be a shame for New Albany to be left behind on such a great project. Being a river city it should be a priority to develop our land in such a way that helps us connect with our neighboring communities.

Let’s focus on this one section: “Unfortunately, the Mayor has not shown any interest in working with the River Heritage Conservancy to make this national treasure a reality in our city. We are actually the only city that has not bought into this plan. Jeffersonville and Clarksville are all in.”

Can we find public evidence to support CM Turner’s claim?

By extension, what exactly is the city of New Albany’s position on Origin Park?

These are important questions of the sort that journalists might ask, correct?

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