Thursday, July 23, 2009

Woolwich Observer Victoria Glen Forum: Join in

On the Woolwich Observer website, partway down on the right side of the page under "Forums," they've established one devoted to saving Victoria Glen Park: "Open Discussion: Victoria Glen"

So far, there is only the original post (which has links to the news story and the editorial the weekend after the public meeting) plus one other comment.

I suggest that those of you committed to preserving the Park as greenspace go on over and join in the conversation and keep the issue up front. They've provided a public forum -- let's make use of it!

And while we're at it, they also have a set of 15 photos from the public meeting posted in their "Image Gallery" for June 27th: "Council Meeting - Victoria Glen."

(And thanks, Observer folk)

Monday, July 6, 2009

Woolwich Township council contact information: Let them know we won't give up!

Here is the contact information for the Mayor and four members of Woolwich Township Council who will make the ultimate decision on whether or not to "dispose" of Victoria Glen Park as "surplus" greenspace for residential development.

Let each one of them know what you think.

We need to persist in our efforts not only to keep this development from happening but to have the woodland rezoned so it will remain park for future generations!

Mayor Bill Strauss
Residence 664-1180

Sandy Shantz
Residence 669-8981

Ruby Weber
Residence 669-5459

Mark Bauman
Residence 664-3318

Murray Martin
Residence 664-1493

Write to them at Township of Woolwich
24 Church Street West, Elmira, Ontario N3B 2Z6

"Emotional attachment is the glue that holds a community together"

The July 4th Woolwich Observer published a "Letter to the Editor" by Laurie Jonkman of Elmira that included these comments:

"Victoria Glen plans harmful to ecosystem"

"Victoria Glen Park was established as parkland early in the 20th century. It was rezoned residentional in 1948 in the belief that it would be needed to provide accommodations for returning veterans in tha face of a housing shortage. Yet, Elmira managed to get by without bulldozing the valuable nature preserve.

Until now.

More than 60 years later, Woolwich Township council is looking to bulldoze Victoria Glen Park. The purely pragmatic reason is to realize conservatively $1 million (or maybe two) from the sale of land for residential development.

But Victoria Glen is even more valuable to our community as green space. There is so little natural forest left. As parkland, it costs the municipality nothing. Destroying even a small portion of the forest would serously damage if not destroy the forest's ecosystem.

At the June 23 public meeting, Councillor Ruby Weber expressed surprise that there was more to the presentations than "just" emotion. Her implication seemed to be that emotional arguments for preserving our environment weren't as important as council's desire to realize a profit from the sale of this nature preserve.

I guess she doesn't realize that emotional attachment is the glue that holds a community together....

Rather than destroying Victoria Glen Park, Woolwich should restore it to the original zoning designation as parkland and preserve this irreplaceable public green space for now and forever."

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Woolwich Township commitment to parks...

In an article "$10.5M for recreation across Waterloo Region" in today's Record, detailing recently announced provincial and federal grants, we find this paragraph, near the end of the article:

"Woolwich Township will receive $371,940 for Bloomingdale Park, Breslau Park and the TransCanada Trail."

It's good to see Woolwich Township's commitment to parks and trails! Let's make sure they extend this commitment to Victoria Glen Park.
(As one friend of the Victoria Glen Park wrote in an email, "wonder what they are doing in these areas with this money?)