Tuesday, December 03, 2013

Why We Need a Butterfly Park

This was my public comment to the Bloomfield Council before it voted, 4 to 3, to reverse it's earlier approval of a Butterfly Park on its recently acquired parkland on Liongate Drive:
As some of you know, my 2nd Ward councilman and I have a long history together,going back about 13 years. I’ve supported him in just about everything he’s advocated and campaigned for. We’ve probably attended a couple of dozen planning board meetings over the years mostly dealing with Liongate. Our main goal as a group, The Third Riverbank Association, was to reduce flooding along the Third River and preserve one of our last bits of open space for passive recreation. 
Here’s where I’m forced to depart from my councilman’s latest campaign to put a soccer field in our newest park. Soccer is NOT passive recreation...and it only serves the needs of a tiny percentage of our residents. This year we’ve had soccer fields available all over town. Huck Field, Demarest School, Brookdale Park, Foley Field, Watsessing Park, Wrights field, Felton Field. Have I missed any? 
My wife and I happen to live a soccer balls kick from Nick’s proposed field of dreams. I’ve seen how many cars fill up the Huck Field parking lots and side streets when games are scheduled. Liongate can handle about 10 more cars than park there everyday. Along with a number of our neighbors, facing Liongate, we have no driveway and have to park our cars on Broad Street. 
I know of no one in our neighborhood -- or the Greenbrook townhouses -- who favors a soccer field here. As a Realtor, I can guarantee you that just about all our home values in this area will be hurt by such a soccer field here as opposed to being helped by a park like the imaginatively designed Butterfly Park.

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