Before the discussion about the painted white stones on the west hill of the Big Spring Park gets too far out of hand, here is a peaceful suggestion that came to me awakening on this peaceful, sunny Sunday morning.

Why don’t we remove the stark white stones and loose gravel which in my opinion are a dangerous attractive nuisance to youngsters in the park?

Judy Haas Smith

The boards braced by iron rods to hold the gravel are warped. The recent rains have washed the gravel down the hill. Loose gravel on a steep incline such as that looks hazardous to me.

To preserve the historic symbolism of the hillside from which many Easter Sunrise services were held in days of yore, why not plant a forest of dogwood trees? We know the legend and symbolism of the dogwood tree natural to our area. These trees could be given by area churches and organizations, and perhaps individuals.

If every church in Neosho gave one dogwood tree, we would have forty or more immediately. What a wonderful ecumenical symbol that would be. What’s more, it would be pretty all year round. Word would spread, people would visit and remark on our solution.

Neosho High School’s Mixed Chorus (mixed was mixed with boys and girls of all four years) performed for the Easter Sunrise services in the 1950’s.

Every Easter morning I still think about the hymn, In Joseph’s Lovely Garden, The Lord Christ’s tomb was laid. I believe all things meant to recognize that event should be beautiful and lovely.

Beauty and nature should be preserved and enhanced. Punctuation with concrete blocks is not required.

A wee forest of dogwood trees from donated by groups and individual Neosho citizens would send an ecumenical message of peace and cooperation.

Surely the forest would welcome everyone. This is our Ozarks native tree. Who can object?

Don’t let the devil get into the details.

(Judy Haas Smith lives in Neosho.)

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