Spacer April 18, 2005
  | Asymmetry | Archive | April 18, 2005 |




Elm Park

Elm Park, where we have spent so much time in these recent gorgeous days, is about two city blocks of greenery and water in its main part; there is a sort of adjunct in the form of a steep, wooded slope across a busy street, which we have not yet explored. It is otherwise bounded by large, graceful houses now largely owned by Becker (sp?) College, a few churches, and a Price Chopper supermarket. There is a paved walkway running around the park's outer perimeter, and unpaved trails criss-cross the interior, looping around the two large ponds, each of which has a pinch in it and a sort of half-moon bridge (tricky to get a stroller over). There are benches, picnic tables, and a playground in one corner. A hot dog truck stands nearby when it's warm. Some of the many trees are marked by plaques, mostly illegible under corrosion. The grass is nice if you can find an area the geese haven't visited lately.

So far we've seen turtles, countless geese and ducks (which people do feed, regardless of the signs giving four or five logical reasons why this is a bad idea), our recent heron, and fish. Erosion channels from the winter are making inroads into some of the paths, and the stone blocks that edge one (not both) of the ponds are falling into it in places. A few homeless people seem to camp there, in corners away from the crowds, and one of the corners is usually home to someone panhandling the passing cars.

It is, in sum, a city park in a fairly small city that has bigger things to worry about. Among my other impressions so far is that Worcester does a lot of positive thinking. Sure, there are problems, but plans for improvement are in constant ferment.

Up the street from us is a big brownfield site currently occupied by tons of earthmoving and sorting equipment, and a sign saying that it will soon be the home of a new CVS and so many thousand feet of rentable retail space. While this will likely be nicer than what's there now, the strip across the street from it currently houses a CVS. So we have the empty Shaws since the store moved into big new digs across the parking lot, and now we'll have an empty CVS, which will move across the street? Or can they keep two open with a hundred yards of each other? The shoe store in the adjoining strip is going out of business, by the way. I can't imagine who is going to rent these thousands of feet of retail space, but someone out there is thinking positively.

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Except where otherwise noted, all material on this site is © 2005 Rebecca J. Stevenson