by Bob Geary
It's going on four years since our Indy cover story, "Imagine Dix," about the potential for a Raleigh Central Park on what remains of the Dorothea Dix Hospital campus — about 306 acres of land. I see, within that story, the subhead, "Decision in '07?" No, there was no decision in '07, or '08, or '09, and there won't be one in '10 either, because Dorothea Dix Hospital is not yet closed and won't be — shouldn't be — as long as the state's mental health programs remain screwed up to the max.
But someday, we trust, mental health services will be community-based and the old state mental hospitals like Dix and Broughton (in Morganton) will be mothballed in North Carolina just as they have been in many other states. Then the question will be whether Dix is used for state offices (the Department of Health and Human Services is on Dix Hill now, with no plans to vacate) ... or be developed (For Discriminating Buyers: The Glade at Dix Hill!) or will be preserved as parkland for all time.
With ???? located in the park? That's what "Imagine Dix" was about — parks can take many forms.
Anyway, today's news is that Greg Poole's Dix Visionaries organization abides, and they've launched a new website, DixLegacyPark.com to remind everybody that when the hospital closes, the Dix legacy can go on.
RALEIGH, N.C. (August 11, 2010) — The Dix Visionaries unveiled DixLegacyPark.com today as the group continues its push in declaring the Dix Campus a Destination Park when the hospital there closes. The website is part of the Visionaries’ ongoing effort to educate the public on the importance of preserving the campus.
“These 306 acres represent a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to create an untold wonder for all North Carolinians,” commented Greg Poole Jr, chair of the Dix Visionaries. “This lasting monument to Dorothea Dix will serve as a place of relaxation and recreation for countless generations, while spurring economic development around the park by attracting businesses and visitors to North Carolina.”
Sponsored by Harris Teeter, DixLegacyPark.com is part of the company’s commitment to environmental responsibility and building a sustainable future.
"Harris Teeter is proud to be part of a project that offers North Carolinians a Destination Park in our state's capital," said Catherine Reuhl, communication specialist for Harris Teeter. "As an industry leader, we are committed to implementing sound environmental practices in all areas of our company and are pleased to support the preservation efforts in Dix Park."
Visitors to DixLegacyPark.com can learn more about the history of Dix Campus, the legacy of Dorothea Dix, the attributes of a Destination Park and the rare opportunity the land presents. Added social media channels such as the group’s Facebook and YouTube pages contain many hi-res photos, videos and news articles of North Carolina’s soon-to-be Central Park.
About the Dix Visionaries
Dix Visionaries are a group of North Carolina business and community leaders from across North Carolina working together to raise awareness and funds from the private sector. Their mission is to support community leaders from across the state in the preservation of a Destination Park on the 306 acres, the only remaining acreage of the original 2,000 acre tract on the Dorothea Dix Mental Hospital property. The group’s plan has been endorsed by the N.C. Council of State, Mayor Charles Meeker and the Wake County Mayor’s Association, Governors Hunt, Holshouser and Martin and community, political and business leaders from across the state.