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Discovering some hidden gems in the area

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Column by Jim Clark

By Jim Clark

Marking my first anniversary at the South Marion Citizen, I learned this past weekend that there are still things to discover in this area.

Last Saturday there was a political forum at the West Port High School auditorium. This was my first trip to this facility (I’ve been to sporting events at the school before) and I was stunned to see the auditorium.

I realize it’s part of the county’s arts program, but still, it’s one of the best high school facilities I’ve ever seen. Spacious and comfortable, it was a great venue for this forum put on by the Republican Business Council.

Actually, there was so much room, I wondered why the candidates were required to set up their booths outside, where the heat was oppressive. However, that’s another story.

If you ever have a chance to go watch a production at this facility, don’t avoid it because you think you’re going to be stuck in just another high school auditorium. As you make up your mind to attend an event, don’t let the building be an excuse not to go.

Parking is plentiful and there is a sheltered walkway entrance where people can be dropped off.

Earlier that morning, I took a photo of the “Stuff the Bus” program, and on my way to West Port, I was running early and saw the sign for Sholom Park.

The park isn’t very imposing looking from 80th Avenue, but I decided to detour off the road and see what was back there.

It was amazing. If you’ve never been to this park, which is free, take time to go back there. It’s a beautiful setup in which you can lose yourself to nature, and it’s wisely built far enough back from the road so there’s no traffic noise to distract you.

I have to confess that I didn’t get out and walk around, since the heat index was about 105 on Saturday. But I saw enough from the road and the parking area to make me realize what an asset to the community this is.

For those who aren’t familiar with the location, you go north from State Road 200 on 80th Avenue. After you pass the Circle Square Commons on OTOW and head toward West Port, the park will be on your left. Warning signs are non-existent, however, until you’re right on top of it, and there is no left turn lane, two things that should be remedied by the county as soon as possible.

The park is open during daylight hours. Enjoy.

Jim Clark is the editor of the South Marion Citizen. He can be reached at 854-3986 or at editor@smcitizen.com.