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Progress from outside government

The Selma-Dallas County Historic Preservation Society and Dallas County Arts Alliance have joined forces to create a free park on city land on Water Avenue across from the St. James Hotel. The land is vacant, the result of the city razing a dilapidated building not so long ago.

Instead of a gaping hole between two other buildings, the folks in these organizations took a cue from Bette Middler’s foundation in New York to beautify the site and make it useful to residents and tourists. All the group needs is the city’s permission.

The work would come in phases for the proposed Phoenix Park. First, the infrastructure: turf, flowers, a brick walkway and perhaps some roofs extended from the buildings on the right and the left.

Later improvements call for construction of a gazebo and a red brick wall at the park’s front entrance with a new wall in the back. Several day gates are planned.

The point here is not so much the park, which is a great idea. The key is people coming together with a common purpose to make Selma better — even a vacant lot.

That’s progress.