Submitted by: Christopher Bannwolf 12:21am Jun 18 2012

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Healy-Murphy Park, 210 Nolan Street, East Side of San Antonio

My idea to improve this place

Salvation Army shelter (next door) and Healy-Murphy school (for "at risk" youth, across the street) volunteers wish to transform the park to create a positive neighborhood venue/community garden.

So that people could... 

... have a place to interact with other people they normally might not meet, in an attractive venue where positive things happen. At present, the park is neglected and little-used, other than by transient homeless people and drug dealers conducting their business. By lease, the City of San Antonio recently granted control of the park to The Salvation Army in the hope that partners would work together to revitalize this near east-side park, to improve the neighborhood and achieve more positive outcomes there. The Salvation Army and Healy-Murphy Center are working together to transform the park to benefit the following groups: 1) Salvation Army shelter clients, to engage them in constructive activity to develop and maintain the park (and to rebuild their own sense of personal worth), 2) Healy-Murphy students, to provide a safe place for science, art, and other learning activities, and 3) neighborhood residents (especially the elderly), to provide them with positive activities such as gardening or interacting with other people. In addition, we envision promoting other events/activities, such as occasional Salvation Army band concerts in the park, occasional farmers' markets or starving artist shows, and other events that bring diverse people together in a positive way. The first step is to develop a landscape plan and a plan for the various activities to be offered. To that end, initial visioning work is already under way. The actual redevelopment work will be done by Salvation Army clients and staff, Healy Murphy students and staff, and through labor from neighborhood and corporate volunteers. To the extent that materials and supplies will be needed for this project, we will seek support from potential donors (e.g., Home Depot, companies, individuals) that see value in the vision for this place. Imagine how lives can be improved as shelter residents, young people, and older people all interact together to develop and maintain a place of hope and beauty in the otherwise troubled neighborhood that they share.

Because I want San Antonio to be...

... a community where diverse people can embrace a common vision and celebrate their shared success in transforming a place (and lives) previously characterized by neglect, hardship, and despair. San Antonio has few parks with natural beauty in the city, and where positive teamwork and interaction take place among diverse groups of varying ages and backgrounds. Our vision is to transform Healy-Murphy Park into a small oasis, where nature and people work together to bring some measure of beauty into the lives of all who enter these grounds. Will you join in, to help us achieve this vision?



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