The reservoir's historic structures & ecosystems are an opportunity to create a unique environmental education center for our children & their future.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Op-Ed Article Comments

Here are some comments generated by the supportive New York Times Op-Ed piece by city comptroller William Thompson Jr and Robert F. Kennedy Jr.:

via Latest comments on Article "A Wilderness, Lost in the City" by Gresehover, Williamsburg, Brooklyn on 6/7/08

I love natural areas (I work for one), and believe that a little wilderness can really broaden a city kid's horizons, but with some experience of community boards and the pressures put on the Parks Dept. by their users, I imagine that residents in the area are overwhelmingly in favor of having nice, easy to maintain athletic fields, which will end up providing more use to more people in the community. I imagine that what the Parks Dept. is doing is following the will of the people. Why else would they do this? Just to spend money? Trust me, Bloomberg has been kinder to the Parks Dept. than any mayor in recent memory, but it's not like they're rolling around in money.

via Latest comments on Article "A Wilderness, Lost in the City" by m, Seattle, wa on 6/7/08

as a child growing up in Newark, NJ, I sought the tiny spots of wilderness that could be found in vacant lots and on the edges of city parks. This is truly to quote a once famous song; paving paradise and putting up a parking lot.
Let the fat kids walk on the sidewalks!!! worked for me.
PLEASE New York, take care of your wild side. There is almost none of it left.

Not living in New York does not preclude me from realizing the value of this remarkable property. Please do not let it go the way of so much of our wetlands. The bits of wetlands that still exist have made it possible to maintain some of our bird and marine life diversity. Without that we, as humans, are doomed.

via Latest comments on Article "A Wilderness, Lost in the City" by David R., Columbia, MO on 6/7/08

I was born and raised on Long Island and spent a lot of time with relatives in Queens. I now live in the middle of Middle America and thrive on the idea that NYC is still home. What most Americans do not believe is that New York has parks other than the rectangle in the middle of Manhattan Island. The Bronx once had one of the great trout streams in the United States. That New York City is not all concrete with styroform rocks and astroturf.

If it takes a congressional act, state or federal, to maintain this sancturary of wilderness in the mist of the Big Apple, I will support it. 50 acres of wildlife is more important to the health of the city than a couple of new baseball fields.

via Latest comments on Article "A Wilderness, Lost in the City" by JohnnyAloha, Whitestone, Queens on 6/7/08

The fact that this area has exploded with life in such a short time is an example of how quickly nature can recover if we simply leave it alone. The "neglect" that the author names as a factor is better expressed as "laissez-faire" environmentalism. No need now for the parks department to invite visitors in with benches and tours. The absence of humans is what allowed this park to flourish. Let's fence it off and leave it alone.

via Latest comments on Article "A Wilderness, Lost in the City" by Charles Nydorf, Manhattan on 6/7/08

While I appreciate the Parks Commission's concern over childhood obesity, they are overlooking the fact that wild parks may be the very thing that prevents and cure this problem. I know this from personal experience. My own brush with childhood obesity came when I was 12 and living in Queens. Preparation for my Bar Mitsvah kept me sedentary (I was never the world's greatest Hebraist) and performance anxiety drove me to overeat (I wasn't the world's star chazan either). The result was a weight problem that even an expensive sports-oriented summer camp couldn't control.

As soon as my Bar Mitsvah left me with more free time I succumbed to the lure of nature in the form of Cunningham Park (also nearby Willow Lake, Pea Pond, Kissena Park and Alley Pond Park). My constant nature study excursions restored my lean physique. I can testify that my friends who were nature enthusiasts such as Bobby Avner and Raymond Yin also never had weight problems. It would be a great shame if Ridgwood Reservoir was sacrificed for the sake of a problem, childhoos obesity, that can be cured by nature study as well as by sports.

My most vivid memory of a long ago summer spent on Manhattan Island is of a group of kids watching a street excavation, and one of them saying with wonder, "There's dirt under New York!"

This parks issue has only one side so far as I can see. Let's not squander a great asset.

via Latest comments on Article "A Wilderness, Lost in the City" by Michelle Cook, San Jose, Calif. on 6/7/08

I'm willing to bet that the editors merely picked the first post that appeared to be in favor of the ballfields (Yonkers) to try and be "unbiased".

As for the woods, why would you ever considering taking down trees to build more athletic fields? Worried about the kids getting obese? Get them out for a hike! Let them see how quickly Mother Nature can heal herself when left alone to do so. Teaching your kids a love of nature is a better long-term solution for obesity than forcing them to play a season of little league where they might actually exercise for a total of 30 seconds per game, in between turns on the bench.

I agree that parks in New York City are a precious resource, but I just wanted to point out that the Ridgewood Reservoir really isn't that nice. I don't think that it should be replaced by baseball fields, but unlike many of the posters here, I am from Brooklyn and have actually been there, so I thought that I would point out that it is just a single path that goes in a circle. The highway is on one side, and the reservoir is on the other. The city shouldn't spend its money to destroy it, but the park will need some creative landscaping to live up to its description here.

via Latest comments on Article "A Wilderness, Lost in the City" by Bonnie, Arcata, CA on 6/7/08

The gain that is made by leaving well enough alone is something foreign to Americans. Let's face it, doing less sometimes is more. The well being of many creatures, including ourselves, is nurtured by a trip into nature. It is essential that we have these places to survive! I agree with the comment above, cleaning up old baseball fields and athletic venues sounds like a better idea that decimating a little bit of heaven.

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