Just the idea of the forthcoming Hampstead Institute “Downtown Farm” in Montgomery makes me happy. Slowly, slowly, slowly, I have been watching Montgomery peek out from the shadows of backwardness, taking little baby steps. And this development is a step in the right direction.
For so long, the main progressive moves that I saw the city making were in the areas of race and tourism. The Southern Poverty Law Center’s Civil Rights Memorial Center and Troy University-Montgomery’s Rosa Parks Museum and Library both opening to the public in the heart of downtown within the last ten years, they show a new openness here to expose and explore our racial past. The opening of two large conference hotels downtown, one connected to the city’s Civic Center, and the subsequent development of restaurants around them, show a new openness to have people from outside the city coming to a welcoming and active downtown, including a minor league baseball stadium and new riverwalk.
This Downtown Farm idea . . . I can’t say loudly enough how happy I am to hear about it. Thank you, City of Montgomery and Hampstead Institute!