Our opinion: Make it a ‘high-end’ park

Want the best view of the City of Warren and its meandering river?

Ask anyone who lives here and they will tell you of a place at the top of the hill just north and west of the city called Washington Park. To reach it, drive up Liberty Street Extension and hang a left at the little sign near the top of the hill. From there, depending on the season and the last attempt by the city to maintain the entrance, you will either bounce, slide or drive white-knuckled down a rutted lane to a clearing and some picnic tables.

It’s not like standing on the south rim of the Grand Canyon, but for a Warren County overlook, it probably ties for third with the Tidioute Overlook and just behind Jakes Rocks and Rimrock that look out over the Allegheny Reservoir.

The place belongs to the public, having been donated to the city by some landowners many years ago.

It is a wonderful place for a picnic in the spring and summer and a great place to see the multi-colored quilt that surrounds this town in the fall. Because there isn’t winter maintenance, its winter use is limited to cross-country skiers and those who employ snow shoes.

Regrettably, it doesn’t receive a lot of use, which put it on the list of properties the city owns that were studied by a committee of city council members charged with evaluating them and making recommendations to the full council on their future use as public spaces…or not.

In the case of Washington Park, council authorized the city engineer to explore development options for the acreage.

There was only one option for development discussed by the committee: Marketing the land for some “high-end homes.”

We have another option: Properly develop it as a park, maintain it the way it should be, keep the access road accessible, and promote it as a great venue for small events.

Washington Park is an uncut gem in Warren’s box of green jewels. Sure, you can build high-end housing on it, maybe even some high-end townhouses similar to those oh-so popular homes with great views of the Hickory Street Bridge. But, remember, once it’s gone, it’s gone, and we believe that there is a better fate for Washington Park.