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The plan to burn 40 acres of underbrush beside Southside Junior High and Greenfield Elementary School made national news. Neighbors weren’t sure what kids were doing in those woods, but they worried city officials were taking things too far. Ironic that City Council renamed the area for Curtis Lovelace, a conservationist who died young that same year while speaking out against other kinds of fires.
A ‘73 #HayfieldSecondarySchoolHawk grad (in Northern Virginia) myself, I well recall the type unofficial outdoor rest & recreation areas you reference.