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To the editor:

Regarding the decision by Council to consider selling off a piece of Timber McArthur Park

I and my family use the trails and urban forest along the east edge of the escarpment all the time. Timber McArthur Park is a significant piece of that.

We live more than 500 m from the park. There are runners and walkers from the whole community there 7 days a week most of the year. On Friday after the big snow storm when everything was closed in town there were people on that trail and in the park area on snowshoes and cross country skis.

Why would anyone think that building a bunch of homes in the middle of a contiguous urban forest is a good idea? It is an environmental affront in so many ways. Building that close to the edge of a fragile limestone ledge is a bizarre idea! Dividing that forest will totally alter the habitat and reduce or eliminate the wildlife that people are attracted to the area to experience. That open field is not waste property. It is part of the forest and an essential part of that environment.

Talk about killing the golden goose! There are many other locations inside Owen Sound for infill construction. Trashing a natural attraction and park area is beyond belief. It goes against many of the stated objectives of the existing plans that are supposed to guide our city's development. We actually do need the expert environmental advice about the impact of this decision, or the creative alternatives that might be presented, from the city staff person whose hiring was just put on the back burner by Council.

As a citizen I just invested time and effort at the City’s invitation to participate in an Official Plan development exercise. It was clear that the room was full of other Owen Sound citizens that agreed with this perspective. I hope that Council will listen to the voices of the ‘real’ Owen Sounders who want to preserve the unique aspects of our home that make it so special, and are willing to stand up and be counted.

Brian Minielly
Owen Sound




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