° empty

‘Bean Field’ perfect for recreation

With the stroke of a pen, President Obama turned a long-standing dream into a reality.

The Natchez Trace Parkway Land Conveyance Act of 2013 was signed into law Wednesday. The new law allows the National Park Service to deed over approximately 37 acres of land adjacent to Natchez High School to the City of Natchez.

Affectionately known as the “bean field” the site has been eyed as a great location for a new city-county recreation complex.

We couldn’t agree more.

We’ve long said that improving the recreational facilities of our community is a critical improvement to the quality of life here. With a sprawling, flat site, the bean field is a proverbial win-win for recreation.

Free land is always a big plus, but the location of the bean field has two key benefits.

First, it’s centrally located to both north and south neighborhoods in Natchez, making it easy for most residents to travel to the location.

Second, having a new recreation site adjacent to Natchez High School could be highly beneficial to the school district, too.

Hundreds of residents would have a good reason to drive through the campus and perhaps allow improved public perception of the school and its facilities.

The challenge, of course, is now about funding.

In recent years, our community has spent millions of dollars on road resurfacing projects, constructing a convention center and purchasing industrial development land.

Can we find it in our hearts to spend a few million dollars on something our children — and their children — can enjoy too?