Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Parks Dept stuck on stupid at Reservoir

From Save Ridgewood Reservoir:

The members of the team in which I participated, which included the Latin American Soccer Association, made it clear from the start that we were not interested in placing active recreational facilities within the basins. By the end of the event, it was certain that the majority of the people participating felt the same way. Six out of eight teams were opposed to destroying the unique habitats within the basins and preferred to see it used for environmental education and passive recreation. A protected nature sanctuary was clearly what most people had in mind. A team dominated by members of the Bushwick Baseball Associated placed fields in basin 3. However, their spokesperson also said that if the department of parks fixed up and maintained the current fields in Highland Park, it would not be necessary to build within the reservoir. This begged the question, if fields were built in the basins, would they ultimately face the same lack of maintenance and neglect as the current fields?

Many people I spoke with after the session came away with the impression that the community's desires and opinions did not matter. Is the outcome of this process a foregone conclusion? A lot of money has already been spent organizing the listening sessions for 2007 and, now, 2009. Moneys have also been paid to the design team to survey park patrons at Highland Park and the Ridgewood Reservoir. Each time the results were the same - people do not want to destroy the natural habitats they want Highland Park fixed up and the reservoirs kept as a nature preserve. However, even with that information in hand, the first plan submitted to the City Comptroller (which was rejected) called for filling in the largest basin with 27,000 large truckloads of fill. Does the majority opinion no longer count in New York City? Where is the democratic process? Why is it that the vast majority of the community called for preservation, the two community boards voted unanimously for preservation, yet the design team did exactly the opposite?


Anonymous said...

I was up there with "Take a Walk" New York. This shows the total lack of logic by the city. Spend good money to destroy something treasured by the community.

By the way, the City is also spending good money to destroy the existing infrastructure in the park, including a lovely stone bridge.

Anonymous said...

Let's not be naive, there is no money in keeping the status quo. If the powers that be want donations they must give business opportunities to someone. Let's face it 27,000 large truckloads of fill are not going to be donated.
Business as usual.

Taxpayer said...

Anonymous # 2 said it exactly right:

No bribes or kickbacks from simply repairing the existing but neglected athletic fields throughout Highland park.

There's tons of money in bribes and kickbacks from large contacts, large purchases and the ribbon-cutting ceremony after the deliberate destruction of this irreplaceable jewel.

The Commissar and Parks Dept. are not "Stuck on Stupid", (though I have no quarrel that they are, indeed, very, very stupid).

What they are stuck on is actually and simply: corruption. The corruption of destruction for greed.

Anonymous said...

Just make sure that as soon as there are any bulldozers or construction equipment on site it is made public ASAP so there can be some late night sabatoge.

Anonymous said...

In 50 years they will probably build over every cemetery in queens