A tiny forest growing at the confluence of three cities
Published 6:46 am Wednesday, July 6, 2016
Editorial by J. David Derosier
My wife and I have lived in three countries on two continents. We have always taken the time to get to know as much as we can about where we are living. We’ve lived here in Orange for more than a decade, and as usual we have made an effort to learn about the area.
One of the more confusing aspects of Orange itself is that there are really three different cities. Three different police forces (not including the Sheriff’s department); two different school districts, and a whole lot of other districts that tax us.
Adams Bayou is a main dividing line between the various cities, as is MacArthur Drive. East of the bayou is the City of Orange. West of the bayou and north of MacArthur is the City of Pinehurst. West of the bayou and south of MacArthur is West Orange.
If you drive your car on Green Avenue past the Orange City Hall and then past 16th Street, you will come to Lions Park on the left, which is in the City of Orange. Continue across the bayou and the businesses on your left are in the City of West Orange, while the businesses on your right are in the City of Pinehurst…and the street belongs to the City of Orange (same street has changed its name to MacArthur). If that is not confusing, I don’t know what is.
When you come to the lights at Wal-Mart, the road curves to the left heading to Bridge City, and is now called Edgar Brown; businesses on your left are still in West Orange. If you took a right at the lights you would then be on Strickland and the businesses on your right would still be in the City of Pinehurst. BUT, Bridge City Bank, Guadalajara, DQ, etc. are in the City of Orange. What a mess – but only if you care about those things.
At one time there was a big traffic circle where these three roads met and you could just drive around the circle passing through three cities in mere minutes. Today the Circle is a couple of large traffic islands put in by the State of Texas Dept. of Transportation (TXDOT), another government player in the neighborhood.
TXDOT generously put some trees in these traffic islands a few years back and they are growing up nicely. The diversity of the native plantings has created something beautiful to behold and counter-balances the acres of concrete paving. At some point in time they will become a magnificent, yet tiny, little forest right at the confluence of these three cities.
Oh yes, three cities…plus the State of Texas. The land in the tiny forest belongs to the City of Orange who picks up the litter, is mowed by the City of Pinehurst, controlled by TXDOT, and watched by the City of West Orange.
Regardless of the direction you come from, when you get to the tiny forest you are at the main intersection of three cities – a confluence of opportunity, so to speak.
Coming from the south (like Bridge City) you see Pinehurst for the first time. Councilor and former Mayor of Pinehurst, TW Permenter, always referred to “Beautiful Downtown Pinehurst” as stretching from MacArthur Drive at Adams Bayou, down Strickland and up MLK.
Opportunity? Maybe this place of confluence, this potential tiny forest, can someday be the welcoming point to Beautiful Downtown Pinehurst. Who knows what can happen, if we keep our minds open and seek to make our area better.
J.David Derosier consults with small business on planning and marketing issues, and provides web design and hosting services through OhainWEB.com. He can be reached at JDAVID@Strategy-Planning.info.