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December 22, 2010 - Heather Ziegler
There is a green space we always called "the park" across from Woodsdale School in Wheeling. This expansive green field, which used to have many more huge poplar trees, meanders along Long Run. When I was a kid, the park had paths that you could push a baby buggy or stroller along, foot bridges across the creek and even lamp posts. Those are all gone now but the green space remains. It has been the site of soccer games and practices, the annual Turkey Bowl football game at Thanksgiving, dog training groups and a place where young sweethearts could walk hand in hand or sit along the creek and get to know one another. We skated on that run when it was frozen over in January and we splashed in the water searching for minnows and crayfish. For anyone who grew up in Woodsdale, the park has been a part of his or her life. For the baby boomers, we also recall "the Chef," aka, the Burger Chef and Wilson's Drugstore that we frequented. To get to those places, many of us walked through the park. It was always better than walking along the busy Bethany Pike sidewalk. Today, you can hardly walk on that sidewalk in front of the park because the bushes have been allowed to creep out and crowd out the walking space. I don't know who is responsible for taking care of that sidewalk, but it would be nice to have it restored to a reasonable walking space. As for the park, it appears it has had several owners over the years. While I don't have any idea who owns it today, signs have cropped up on the property that indicate it is private property and the public is not welcome there. I also have heard rumors that a commercial retail development may occur on the property. It would be sad to lose such a lovely green space in the heart of Woodsdale when so many other true commercial properties are vacant. We will just have to wait and see.
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