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parklandsale2

TO: Owen Sound Mayor, Deputy Mayor, City Councillors, and City Manager

RE: Potential sale of part of Stoney Orchard Park

Parks are the lifeblood of any city — places where, every spring, we breathe fresh air, welcome the sun, and delight in the rebirth of nature, from ferns and lady's slippers to orioles and rabbits. It is, therefore, very disturbing to read that a 1.3 acre tract of parkland in the north-east corner of Owen Sound will be sold to a developer for sixteen new building lots unless City Council turns down this proposal.

The park in question, Stoney Orchard, is north of 23rd Street East at the top of 6th Avenue East. Between École catholique Saint-Dominique-Savio and the escarpment, it is the last remaining park in the city that consists mainly of mature cedar forest and pathways. The developer, Barry Kruisselbrink, who inaccurately calls this area “thick scrub", already owns many lots south of the park that he plans to build on soon. This much-loved haven must not be sacrificed for additional housing and a few dollars in city coffers when plenty of serviced land is ready for development in Owen Sound.

There is no excuse for selling parkland under any circumstances because, face it, when it’s gone it's gone forever. But this unique park, with its trails through the forest and the remnants of old stone fences, is a special treasure, a delight to children and adults from all over. A local resident pointed out that the paths are used constantly by children and their parents and, because nearby streets lack sidewalks, by people with mobility challenges.

The Climate Action Team of Owen Sound urges governments to take action to halt and mitigate global warming, in part by by preserving natural areas, pursuing sustainable practices, and promoting biodiversity; which are all impacted when public land is sold for private profit. Our many members who have visited the park all agree that it must be preserved — intact! If humans hope to survive on this planet we can’t keep cutting down trees and destroying the habitat that other creatures need for their survival.

Approving the sale of parkland would set a terrible precedent, suggesting that dollars trump the environment, and citizen's needs are secondary to the aspirations of a developer. City Council must say no!

Michael Craig, Owen Sound
on behalf of the Climate Action Team


 

 

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