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BIG CHANGES FOR THE KENOSHA COUNTY PARKS

Change is not always a good thing in our lives, in our world and in this case (our county parks). Changes can be negative especially when they are made to suit the special interests of particular people and fulfill their personal agendas. The people I am referring to are: County Executive (Jim Kreuser) and his Public Works Superintendent (Jonathan Rudie) who are the two people behind what I clearly see as negative changes being made to the county parks. In my eyes, it is vary clear that he intends both (Fox River Park) and (Silver Lake Park) to be primarily used as disc-golf courses, it’s their idea and it’s not a good idea for people who have been using the two parks for other recreational activities and would like to continue doing so. If you walk though Fox River Park these days you have to worry about being in the way of people playing disc-golf and now they have a disc-golf course in Silver Lake Park that will take up almost half the space there when they are finished. Not only has he imposed disc-golf on the two parks he also has catered to certain minority of people who would like to ride their mountain bike throughout Silver Lake Park. I have witnessed firsthand what a hazard this is, seeing a cyclist almost hit a teenage jogger where the newly cleared off-road bike trails intersect with long existing walking/jogging paths. What a terrible idea, (completely unsafe). This is one of the reasons that for so many years bike riding was not allowed off the paved roads in the county parks. Another reason was the obvious and inherent damage to turf and woodland suffuse.

Recently, it seems our county executive and his park directors think trees are a bad thing to have in a park, that they pose a safety hazard. This (reforestation Project) that is currently underway is a joke, its more like deforestation. How do you cut down nine hundred (900) trees then replant sixty (60) and consider an area as being reforested. They are calling it (The Ash Tree removal Project) but they have been cutting down all types of trees including perfectly heathy Northern Red Oaks, a handsome tree that has beautiful fall foliage. I also notice that they are cutting down White Oak trees that are more than (150 years old) some could be more than (200 years old). These trees transcend the generations, they give our land character and are part of our heritage. Why would someone want trees like that removed from a public park? I’ll tell you, (to make way for a disc-golf course). If you ask me Jim Kreuser wants the county parks to be more like how things are in the City of Kenosha, something that I am adamantly opposed to. A person generally visits a large public park to get away from the hustle, noise and congestion of an urban environment.

Another pressing issue is the tax dollars that are being spent on these changes or so-called park improvements. How can the local resident and tax payer that does not wish to play disc-golf or ride a mountain bike consider these changes as improvements or moving forward, especially the county resident that has been visiting the parks to partake in more traditional recreational activities. These activities include: walking, hiking, jogging and nature viewing. There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that these recent changes degrade the appearance (aesthetic quality) of the parks and conflict or interfere with traditional park usage. If you drive through Fox River Park you will notice the poor condition of the road ways. This is clear evidence of misappropriated park funds, tax dollars that were surly spent on installing a disc-golf course instead. If providing disc-golf is such a worthy cause or good service on the part of county executive Jim Kreuser, then why didn’t he get the county to buy a large enough piece of property and develop a disc-golf course? I know he would have trouble convincing the county board to spend that kind of money. So the route he chose was to use land the county already owned, our county parks and the end result is are parks will not be as beautiful as they once were or as they were originally intended to be years and years ago.

WANC Manager

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