Friday, January 20, 2012

Protect Palisades Park

Those who would steal our parks are out there everywhere--in every state, in every county, in every city.  If it has a nice view, there will be those who would like to make it into a tract of homes, the best views being reserved for those few who can afford it.  I am a big supporter of creating jobs, but I'm passionately against selling our parks in the name of progress. 

The park where I ride is under attack.  A new Spokane County Commissioner has identified it as needing to be sold off or incorporated into the city.  This is in a county that owns a Motor Raceway (Yes, our county bought a Raceway and bid against private interests!) and loses millions of dollars a year on it because of poor attendance, ramshackle conditions, and death.  Yet, a beautfiul city park where we can go to hike, bike, ride our horses and picnic--one that volunteers support almost entirely and costs the city nothing, is being targeted by some (I hope not all) on the commission.  Why?

Well, the commissioner attacking it is a developer.  Need we say more?

If you're reading this and you are from Spokane County and you care at all about leaving your children and grandchildren a little bit of land that isn't fenced off--where they can go and ride a horse or ride a bike off the road or hike, then please, please, please be a voice to speak for Palisades Park.

Our beautiful city is beautiful because of its parks.  Parent Magazine voted it in the top 10 places to raise kids because of its PARKS.  Why would the city cut off its nose to spite its face?


Please follow this link and sign our petition.


Opposition to Including Palisades Park in Spokane County's Urban Growth Area

There are many reasons why we stand against adding Palisades Park to Spokane County's Urban Growth Area:

1.) While we support bringing businesses and jobs to the West Plains in the industrialized sections of the County, the West Plains are drastically underserved by green space. Palisades Park is at the heart of this area and provides recreation and natural beauty for many of the County’s residents.

2.) Much of the land in the park is in conservation and, as such, protected into perpetuity.

3.) There is already an abundance of land for sale surrounding the park that is held privately and sits unsold.

4.) The cost of bringing city services into this area, should it be annexed by the city, would be exorbitant due to the fact that is sits on basalt rock.

5.) The projected 20 year population growth does not warrant adding more land to what already exists.

6.) Many of the county's runners, bikers, equestrians, and outdoor enthusiasts are supporters and users of this park and volunteer their time to its upkeep and preservation.

7.) As taxpayers, we have long-supported the conservation futures levy, and respect the fact that once purchased, this land is held in perpetuity. Much of the Palisades area that is being considered for urban growth expansion is publicly held, is a benefit to all citizens, and serves as irreplaceable habitat and wildlife corridor between the Latah Creek area and Riverside State Park. We taxpayers have invested over $529,000 involving four separate purchases to make this happen.

8.) Palisades Park serves students at every level, as a focus of serious botany and wildlife study opportunities.

This is only the beginning of what will be our passionate and concerted effort to preserve and protect Palisades Park for this generation and the next. We urge you to consider your legacy as civic leaders serving Spokane County and, rather than destroying what generations have built and volunteered to maintain, become a part of making Palisades Park a county treasure.
Petition:
We, the undersigned, oppose adding Palisades Park to Spokane County's Urban Growth Area.

4 comments:

  1. That's very frustrating! I hope that money and providing views for a few doesn't become more important than providing opportunities for natural recreation for many.

    ~Lisa

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  2. These stories are always so sad, I hope your beautiful park survives. Is this the same place where you posted video of a horse ride a few months back, along a river? It looked like such a peaceful place.

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  3. Once again greed rears it's ugly head. I hope you are all successful in stopping this from happening.

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  4. Thanks, Lisa. I hope so, too.

    Thanks, Joanne. This is the park where I ride a lot and post pictures, but the video was from a ride at the park that joins it--Riverside State park. They're across the road from each other.

    Thanks, Shirley.

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Please feel welcome to join our discussion--tell us about your own thoughts and experiences.