The use of the word “they” in a conversation usually sets off in me an immediate measure of hesitated doubt in what is going to follow. Without knowing who “they” are, imaginations can run right into the infinite possibilities multiplied by infinite a time or two as to the “real” message behind the statement.
“They Said It Couldn’t Be Done” Park in Downtown Midlothian, Illinois is an example of this kind of layered opportunity to give additional information as to who exactly “they” might be and what the “it” was that was so doubted.
As a temporary placeholder name for one of the largest planned rain garden in Midlothian (the Park District/Belly Button Hill installation is another large garden area built with different purpose and design) and certainly one of the newest is appropriate for the Inside Midlothian Audience to decide for themselves who was opposed to the project at various stages of development.
Numerous posts litter the Internet with comments and commentary about this specific piece of Village property, much of it on the negative side…because it’s a fairly accurate assessment of this swath of land. Aesthetics aside, even form and function failed to be visible to others beyond those who left behind their trash that was picked up piece by piece.
With the triple-tiered approach of blending aesthetics with form and function, the Village of Midlothian now has a fully functional outdoor lunch area, complete with a hand-constructed table and plenty of lawn available to place your own chairs and coolers and numerous restaurants within a few blocks distance.
While certain areas of the garden are off limits in terms of walking through, the garden itself is not walled off and can be viewed from Pulaski/Crawford. You can also turn into the currently graveled parking spaces along the garden’s edge and get a closer look at the details of the accomplishment.
This piece of property was left “as-is” for decades and now has become yet another example of what can be done here in the Village of Midlothian to improve our environmental conditions. While its function is not primarily focused on storm water intervention, a crowd of people have transformed the space into a usable public space that is designed to be pleasant to have access to in Downtown Midlothian.
So is there truth to the name of the park? Yup. But it’s actually quite a humorous name after you see the improvements and know more of the back story. Just do a search using the phrase “Team Floodlothian” and read some of the news articles written about past efforts over these past years.
Post Script: Team Floodlothian was recently awarded the 2016 Most Brown to Green Improvement award by Getting To Know Midlothian for their overall progress with the garden by the railroad tracks, Pulaski/Crawford and the VFW Hall.