Julius Kleiner spent decades running a family dairy in what was rural Meridian. Kleiner died in 1972, and might scarcely recognize the Meridian that has grown up beyond his old property line. A thriving shopping center sits to the south. Two nearby and crowded thoroughfares, Fairview Avenue and Eagle Road, serve the states third-largest city.
This isnt dairy country anymore. And the 60 acres still in the Kleiner family would be prime development property, were it not for a remarkable act of generosity. Eugene Kleiner donated the land to the city of Meridian in his fathers memory. The $25 million park, Meridians largest, was unveiled earlier this month.
All too often, communities grow up before space can be dedicated to recreation and renewal. Parks dont always happen, and they seldom happen by accident. Usually, as it is in this instance, parks grow from foresight and philanthropy.
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