Don’t forget about the birds
Park Board President John Erwin describes the proposed sites for a dog park next to Roberts Bird Sanctuary as viable (“Dog Park Sites under protest again, this time by bird groups”).
I wonder what his definition of viable is? He presents no evidence that a dog park situated next to a bird sanctuary will not have a serious negative or catastrophic effect on the bird sanctuary. He simply says the proposal is viable. He also doesn’t present any evidence about exactly how much dog parks negatively affect the land and water of our parks. We have had enough time for the MPRB to study and assess the effect of dog parks on the environment. Where is that information? If he does not have such information, how can he claim any viability of park areas near dog parks? He seems to imply that because some people want dog parks, they should get them regardless of the effect of such parks on our current park amenities or our environment.
Common sense indicates that situating a busy and noisy off-leash dog park next to a bird sanctuary is an unbelievably bad idea that calls into question the judgment of the current Park Board as protectors of our parklands. The fact that the Park Board was not able to place a dog park in Martin Luther King park indicates that not everyone is happy with the idea of dog parks and seems to have put the board in the mode of choosing sites regardless of the destruction to more natural areas of our parks. That President Erwin would offer no reasons for doing so — beyond vague assurances that we all will like it after it is installed — suggests that little thought has been given to the selection of these proposed sites.
Citizens who value the nearly unique natural areas of Minneapolis Parks that allow children and adults to experience diverse vegetation and animals need to step forward and let the Park Board know they value these areas and they must be protected and nurtured.
— Robert Jorczak, Linden Hills
Many concerned about protecting birds
As a Minneapolis resident and chair of the Audubon Chapter of Minneapolis‚ Conservation Committee, I appreciate the Southwest Journal’s recent coverage of the MPRB Commissioners consideration of two sites next to Roberts Bird Sanctuary as a potential off-leash dog park.
I want to make one correction to the piece, however. The people who are opposed to putting a dog park next to the Sanctuary are not “a small handful of people,” but rather a large and growing number of birders and nature lovers and Minneapolis residents who are concerned and frustrated about the way MPRB Commissioners are handling the issue of dog parks in general.
I’d also like to address President Erwin’s comment, “If you look at every one of our dog parks, after the dog park is in place, people are happy with it.” If Commissioner Erwin truly believes this, why isn’t there a dog park under construction at Martin Luther King Jr. Park right now?
— Kit Healy
Call for poetry
OK, it’s been a REALLY long, hard winter. But between the pot holes and the snow drifts there must be room for poetry. And spring IS coming — “a rebirth of wonder.”
If you write poetry or know someone who does, please send your best work to [email protected]
For more info, go to wilhide.com/Site/Poetry_Matters.html.
Deadline for the Spring Poetry Project spread is March 15. Keep writing!
— Doug Wilhide