Keep Progress Point Green

Open Letter to Mayor and Commissioners

Guest Columnist Charley Williams / June 22, 2021

Over 360 folks signed our online petition.

‘We, the undersigned residents of Winter Park, envision a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to increase greenspace as the city considers the future of Progress Point. We believe the highest and best use is a 4.4-acre park with shade trees, walking paths and benches where residents can escape their homes and enjoy relief from the concrete urban chaos of today’s world.

Even better, the park would link Mead Botanical Garden and Martin Luther King, Jr. Park, offering greater recreational opportunities for those who want to explore the city without a car. There is a national push for every American to have a park within a 10-minute walk. This greenspace can help us reach that goal.

Surveys across the U.S. show that we want and need more park space. Once paved, these limited assets are lost forever. We ask for your stewardship and protection of this unique city-owned parcel for generations to come.’

Sharing some of the comments we’ve received:

“The re-wilding of this property would put Winter Park on the map internationally for all the right reasons.

Florida has less park space per population than any other state.”

“Green space is our most important asset.”

“This is a rare opportunity, and there may not be too many more.”

“The neighborhood needs green space. Look kitty-corner across the street (across the railroad tracks and opposite the playground), where there once stood two houses is now a cluster of rental houses. The neighborhood wanted community gardens there. Instead, we got an extension of Rollins. No more development.”

“Winter Park needs more open green space to balance the ratio of people and the spaces they need outside their homes.”

“Green space is essential to life.”

“Winter Park deserves more green spaces.”

“The Charm and Beauty of Winter Park is the beautiful parks and gardens. Please do everything to preserve the natural beauty of Winter Park.”

With continued appreciation, in community.

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    By: Anne Mooney

    Anne Mooney has assumed the editorship of the Winter Park Voice from founding editor Tom Childers.

    Mooney got her start in New York as a freelance line editor for book publishers, among them Simon & Schuster and the Clarkson Potter division of Crown Books. From New York, she and her husband and their year-old toddler moved to Washington, D.C., where the two ran a newswire service for Harper’s magazine. “We called it Network News,” said Mooney, “because it was a network of the Harper’s writers, whose work we edited into newspaper style and format and sold to papers in the top U.S. and Canadian markets. We were sort of like a tiny UPI.”

    The newswire ceased operation with the death of Mooney’s first husband, but Mooney continued to write and edit, doing freelance work for Williams Sonoma cookbooks and for local publications in D.C.

    In 2005, Mooney moved to Winter Park, where she worked as a personal chef and wrote a regular food column for a south Florida magazine. She took an active interest in Winter Park politics and was there when the Winter Park Voice was founded. She wrote occasional pieces for the Voice, including the Childers bio that this piece replaces.

    The Winter Park Voice is one of a large number of “hyper-local” publications that have sprung up across the U.S. in response to the decline of the major daily newspapers and the resulting deficit of local news coverage. The Voice’sbeat is Winter Park City Hall, and its purpose is to help the residents of our city better understand the political forces that shape our daily lives.

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