Letter: Take a risk and vote for color, life

Published 9:59 pm Monday, July 2, 2018

Have you noticed? Central Park is blooming with colorful pots of flowers this summer. These pots were planted and donated by the Albert Lea High School Class of ’65, along with a bench as a gift and in honor of all the wonderful things Central Park has offered to us as a class and Albert Lea as a community.

A few people from our class have faithfully carried gallons of water and cared for the pots, but that is pretty labor-intensive and time-consuming. It was suggested that maybe the city would be willing to water these plants on their daily watering rounds of other flower pots in town. When asked if the city would be willing to water these plants, the park administrator’s answer was “no.” Unfortunately, there even has been a request by the park administrator to remove them. The reasoning is that they are “in the way for mowing …” (they are on the cement under the park benches or on bare ground) and there was a fear that they “could be picked up and thrown … and vandalized.” (That didn’t happen all last summer when they were there).

If people give in to fear and speculation, we are all the losers. Yes, there always is the possibility for someone to vandalize them or take them, but “let us not grow weary in doing good.” If good gives up, evil wins. If they take them, they need them in their lives more than us; if they are vandalized, the flowers at least had the presence of their beauty in the lives of many people and may have helped more people than we know. They can be replaced.

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Let us not give into fear or apathy. Gardeners, speak out. Park walkers, email. Park neighbors, call. Everyone, visit, sit and enjoy the park on your garden tour July 13 and 14. Let your city administrators know you choose to take a risk and a vote for color, life and a healing presence those little pots offer. Ask that the city of Albert Lea help support the effort. Thank you for your help, good people of Albert Lea.

Albert Lea, forever in my heart.

Janine (Schendel) Aaker

Class of 1965