Cancer sufferer seeking to build arboretum

By Bob Hallmark - bio | email

LONGVIEW, TX (KLTV) - An east Texas man is in a unique position of knowing he is dying, and having one more dream to achieve. He has an incurable cancer, but has one more thing to do before he goes.   After retiring in 2000, 73 year old Dencil Marsh of Longview got on a mission to build a park. The often overflowing Grace Creek area is the target.

"I got to thinking well what does Longview need, but all of the sudden it occurred to me that we could take that liability and turn it into an asset with an arboretum urban forest project" says Marsh.

But time is short, he was diagnosed with the rare Waldenstrom macro-globulinemia, a type of lymphoma, and given 3 years to live. That was 3 years ago. Marsh isn't ready to go.

"We have young men and women everyday that go out and try to accomplish something for our country to make the world a better place and they don't quit, I believe that the natural beauty of east Texas is a marketable asset that very few people know about" he says.

Marsh leased 28 acres from the city, with a grand plan. Marsh's vision for the place is pretty amazing, he sees waterfalls and bridges a children's garden even an amphitheater, it's a little piece of the outdoors right in our backyard.

He's been lobbying for an arboretum on Grace Creek near Maude Cobb since 2002. Even sick he's been clearing trails himself.

"Longview needs in my opinion something that's unique to Longview" Marsh says.

As twilight sets on Marsh, he thinks of the good that people can do,  if they only try.

"Good things can happen but we've got to try to focus on those things we've got to try to help make good things happen" he says.

Marsh is also undergoing chemotherapy, and can only work on the project on a limited basis, so any help would be appreciated.

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