The Naperville Park District board meets tonight and has a short but significant agenda to tackle. Fresh from hiring Ray McGury to be executive director, the board will conduct a special meeting behind closed doors to consider an invitation to buy the Ponds of Hobson West property. Then the board is set to discuss the Ponds offer in -- gasp -- open session. Then maybe it will act on this latest offer to buy 6 acres for $2.5 million and we can all finally see the matter put to rest for good, or until there's another scheme to unload the land.
Then the park board is expected to hear from people who use the community garden plots on West Street, part of the 300-acre Martin-Mitchell bequest in the heart of Naperville that includes Central high school, Naper Settlement, Edward Hospital, Knoch Park, Naperville Cemetery and Sportsman's Park. Some powerbrokers feel strongly that those garden plots are an underutilization of prime property. They can't stand to see that land used so passively, and every day that the land sits unimproved without some sort of ballfield or recreation center on it just brings them more pain.
Some gardeners and their dirty hoes have caught wind of this, and like freshly spread manure they don't like what they smell in the air. So, in typical Naperville deliberative fashion, the board is expected to hear from gardeners about initiating a process to gather public input about the fate of the garden plots.
Let's cut to the chase. Forget all the other components of the Martin-Mitchell property. Let's just talk about the garden plots. Should they stay there on West Street? There are some who are drooling over that land, and want to set up the green thumbs elsewhere. What say you? Do you agree the property is underutilized? Is it right to relocate the garden plots for the benefit of more active recreational pursuits?