Friday, January 19, 2007

75 Acres of New Park

Went to a town meeting last night to discuss the creation of a new 75 acre wooded park area. The meeting was supposed to take public input on the usage of the new park, but its fate was determined before I ever arrived. I should have known I was in trouble when I looked around and the average age was 65. The attendees were mostly people who lived next to the property or across from it. Most of them had lived next to the property for forever and they new the owner who willed the land to the city. I empathised that they wanted it to be strictly hiking and bird watching ground, but felt that with today's limited land availability that everyone should be able to get along. The city official holding the meeting new All of the land owners by name and I suspect that they had his ear for many months prior to the meeting. I offered up the WORBA was capable of building sustainable trails that would limit speed and not disturb the beauty of the park. He said that he had worked with WORBA and in his opinion they built better trails than the parks service did, but he felt the area was to small. I replied that there were several areas that were as small as 25 acres with almost 5 miles of trails, but it fell on deaf ears. If there is another meeting I hope to have as many mtb ers as possible so I don't have to be the one getting bashed. The 1 good thing that came of it was the local park official wanted me to be a contact person between the cycling groups and the parks service of the town. They didn't understand how cyclists, road, mtb, tri, all differ in where they ride. In there view anyone with a bike falls into the same usage for on or off road trails. After talking with them for a bit they started to understand why roadies and mtb guys don't ride on rail trails, so at least some good did come of the evening. That's enough rant. Gotta go ski now.

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