Each year, before the onset of fall, we wonder if we will have pretty color in SW Indiana. Have we had enough rain? Was spring too dry? Was summer wet enough? We fret about it as we pose our concerns in small talk. Then, each fall, our disquiet is allayed when we are rewarded with a rich swath of crimson and gold. In Evansville, some of the most dramatic color is seen right in the city – in Wesselman Woods Nature Preserve, our 240-acre tract of virgin forest on the East Side of Evansville. It’s the largest tract of virgin forest located in any city limits inside the U.S.!
The demolition of Roberts Municipal Stadium this year makes the fall color of the preserve easier to enjoy for the many commuters who drive the Lloyd Expressway. New to the view is an eyesore that the city says it is committed to removing: The light pole farm on the Wesselman Par 3 Golf Course.
(Photo by Jerry Butts)
According to Denise Johnson, director of the Evansville Parks Department, 60 lights mark the course. “The lights for the Par 3 have only been on twice in the last several years and that was for National Night Out,” Johnson says. “Most of the golfers play during the daylight hours. If there were a special request for a golf outing – they could be turned on but this hasn’t happened in years.”
“In all my discussions about Roberts Park and Wesselman Nature Preserve, no one has expressed a desire to keep the lights. Most people reference the sea of light poles and how that’s all you can focus on. It is our goal to remove the poles when we begin construction of the new Park.”
I’ll look forward to the improved view next fall – and worry not if it will be pretty.