CLEARWATER — We asked what you thought about Crest Lake Park, and you gave us a piece of your mind.
Clearwater leaders are talking about making Crest Lake a signature park for the city, just as Largo Central Park is for that city. They will discuss the idea some more this week, and probably vote on it.
In last Sunday's Clearwater & North Pinellas Times, in an article headlined "Green space envy," we asked readers to write us about what Crest Lake Park needs.
Letters and emails followed. Clearwater residents are certainly passionate about the large park located east of Highland Avenue and stretching from Gulf-to-Bay Boulevard to Cleveland Street. Although opinions are mixed, a few themes emerged from readers' comments.
• They want the public restrooms opened, pronto.
"To fix the park, start with opening the bathrooms," wrote Clearwater resident B. J. Walsco.
• The park needs more police patrols.
"No one will come if dollars are poured into the park but they do not feel safe," wrote Jean Grizzell.
• Put in a better playground and possibly an interactive fountain.
"With an expanded play area with a gate and security fence like Largo Central (Park), more families would go and make it less hospitable to the homeless who congregate there," wrote Sue Ellis.
• Stop driving city trucks through the park.
"I see big City of Clearwater municipal vehicles parked out in the middle of the thing, all under the trees," wrote Chip Haynes. "That might explain the lousy condition of the grass in there."
• Remove the grassy berms on the park's south side. No, wait, leave them!
"I think it helps keep the noise down and helps isolate the park from the hustle and bustle of traffic on Gulf-to-Bay and protects the natural serenity of the lake," wrote Stacey Skinner.
To see a selection of readers' letters, see Page 2, at left.
Mike Brassfield can be reached at [email protected] or (727) 445-4151. To write a letter to the editor, go to tampabay.com/letters.