ethel’s words

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GRABBING THE PUBLIC’S LANDS--Endangered Parks

The public’s lands, everywhere, are coveted; city parks especially are endangered, in a variety of ways.

If a group of bandits strode or rode into Liberty Park and took possession, for their exclusive use, of a piece of the Park, they would be seen as robbers. But if a cabal of affluent tennis players (“racketeers”) plots a way to grab a measure of the Park for themselves only--space previously available to the general public, first come--there seems no recognition of theft.

Even more glaring, is a plot to “uplift” Pioneer Park, primarily to get it beyond the reach of its rightful recreationists, mainly poor persons. The plan is to take from the hapless and helpless poor and give to the dogs, off leash. This change in land use, grass utilization, no matter how much we love dogs, restricts use by the general public and constitutes stealing.

SugarHouse Park experienced land banditry. No matter that the changed use of the stolen part was a worthy use--that parcel was lost to general public access.

Governments and their subdivisions want to grab our green space to save greenbacks for their budgets. It shows a total insensitivity to--not only the beauty and sanctity of green bowers--but also to people who use public parks because they lack green estates, and are without means to enjoy country club amenities.

Governments cannot be trusted to be responsible stewards; gadflies among us must maintain constant vigilance.

Ethel C. Hale