Petition Seeks Public Support for Playground in 1930

The Hastings Gazette, October 17, 1930

Backers of the proposal to construct an athletic field and student playground on the vacant tract of lowland adjoining Vermillion Street, between Tenth and Eleventh streets, have prepared a petition  which, when signed by the required number of citizens, will be presented to the city council of Hastings, asking that Eddy street, which bisects the playground site be vacated. 

To stimulate public interest in the project and expedite the signing of the petition, the playground advocates arranged a parade of school children through the downtown district Thursday afternoon, the high school band, football team, Boy and Girl Scouts and student body, generally, appearing in the procession. Placards, explaining the purpose of the parade, were displayed by the youthful marchers and other novel “advertising” stunts were employed to stir up public interest int he playground enterprise. 

The peition, which will be circulated for signatures before being presented to the ciy council, is worded as follows:

“It is with genuine pleasure that we, representing citizens of the various walks of life, merchants, mechanics, professional men, laborers, bankers and mother of the citizens-to-be of Hastings, all deeply interested in the advancement of our fair city and the health and morals of our youth, present this petition to your honorable body. We ask that you vacate Eddy Street between 10th and 11th streets. The tract of land between 10th and 11th, Vermillion and Eddy streets, is about 9 feet below the street grades, an open and unsightly field, but a natural bowl for an athletic field with the added advantage that, on account of the porous soil, affords a natural drainage. Eddy street, between 10th and 11th streets in unimproved and little used West of Eddy street, is a deep gravel pit. Arrangements have already been made to purchase this tract of land at a nominal price. If Eddy street is vacated, it would provide an athletic field of the proper size, having a frontage of 200 feet on Vermillion street and extending in a westerly direction 296 feet.

Stillwater and White Bear have fields a great deal larger, but have not the ideal location and setting this tract would provide. it is proposed to make it an athletic field of which this city can be justly proud.

The beauty of the whole thing is that the City will lose nothing in vacating the street. The Board of Education will purchase the land at a nominal price, really a donation by the owners of the property. The location of the field will cause a greatly increased attendance at the games with a corresponding increase in gate receipts and the High School Athletic Association will pay all assessments and taxes in arrears.

We sign our names willing, with the fullest confidence that your honorable body will act favorably in the matter.

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