These concrete panels at The Green in Longview were donated by the Texas Department of Transportation and painted by a local artist.

QUESTION: My husband and I went down to The Green recently to walk around and get some fresh air. In the far western edge there is an area where there are some outside xylophones, some musical instruments that can be played. On the ground beneath these xylophones are a series of concrete panels that have artwork on them. They look like they were brought in from someplace else. There’s some writing on them. Can you give us the history on that?

ANSWER: The Green has turned out quite lovely, hasn’t it? It’s design was purposeful — and its features are full of good stories, which you know Answer Line loves.

Those concrete panels have been with the park since it opened about two years ago, according to Keep Longview Beautiful Executive Director Kim Casey. The panels originally belonged to the Texas Department of Transportation and were designed to be a part of a bridge. They were flawed, though, and had sat, unused, at a TxDOT facility in Canton for many years, Casey said.

She asked TxDOT to donate them to The Green, and when TxDOT agreed, the city of Longview took care of transporting them to the park at the city’s entrance from Texas 31. Some work had to be done to prepare them for the park — there was some rebar sticking out of them, for instance. Then, Casey asked local artist Carol Manley to put her special touch on them, which is why they have those lovely paintings of flowers. Casey wasn’t sure what exactly the writing on them means, but it came with the panels, and she thinks it probably had something to do with the job for which they were originally intended.

“Remember The Green is all about the mission statement of Keep Longview Beautiful,” which is beautification, waste reduction and recycling, Casey said — goals the use of the concrete panels fit.

Other improvements also continue to be made at the park. The Memorial Play Space has been completed in honor of Henry Young, Tripp Austin and Ethan Ostendorff, who were ages 3, almost 2 and 4, when they died separately in late 2018 and early 2019.

Also, Casey said a small race track where children can play with their toy cars has just been finished, and work is underway on several gabion benches. The gabion — or wire baskets — that are being used as the base for the benches are being filled with litter that has been picked up around Longview as part of an effort to educate the community about the effects of litter on the community, Casey said.

ANSWER LINE NOTE: I had a request to reprint the address to return an economic impact payment. Here you go!

If you received a paper check: write “Void” in the endorsement section on the back of the check; in Texas, the voided check should be mailed to Austin Internal Revenue Service; 3651 S. Interregional Hwy 35; Austin, TX 78741.

If you received a paper check that’s already been cashed, or if the payment was through direct deposit, you need to submit a personal check or money order to the same address as above. Make the check or money order payable to “U.S. Treasury” and write 2020EIP, and the taxpayer identification number (Social Security number or individual taxpayer identification number) of the recipient of the check.

In both cases, Include a brief explanation about why you’re returning the payment.

— Answer Line appears Thursday and Saturday. Email questions to, leave a message at (903) 232-7208 or write P.O. Box 1792, Longview, TX 75606.