Nov 16, 2009
Fixing What We Broke
During the controversy over the Cedar Park Plans, much discussion centered on the need for Riparian Buffers. These are usually deliberate plantings to restore a stream bank to a natural state. Many advocates for the new plans may be surprised to learn that they are only correcting mistakes made by previous advocates. When Lehigh Parkway was originally designed and completed in the late 1930's, most of the existing paths were not included. Almost the entire stream bank on the north side between Robin Hood Bridge and the Klein Bridge (new metal pedestrian bridge) was retained in its natural state. Except for a small picnic area adjoining the stream's edge (old water fountain remains) the remainder of that side was untouched. It remained that way at least into the 1960's. Like wise, only the north side path between Robin Hood Bridge and North Bridge existed. (Regency Tower end of park). On the southern side of the stream the path stopped just beyond the Stepped Stone Structure. The park lies in a deep ravine. The original builders only built the paths in those area's which had meadow between the slope and the stream, allowing distance between the path and the water and also allowing for over half the park to remain in it's natural state. The extended path now continuing pass the Stepped Structure actually must abut the stream, as with the new portion going west on the north side.
Had not "Park Planners" made these "improvements" in the last few decades, we would have a more natural environment today. Our current "Planners" continue wanting to shove more and more into our parks. Although the additional paths in the Parkway allow the users double the length for exercise, we have compromised the stream banks. Currently we are on the verge of building a new loop within the existing loop in a small area of Cedar Creek, between the Creek and Honochick Drive. I can determine no rational reason for this redundancy. The Park Director claims it will contain different exercise stations than the existing outer loop. Here's an idea, why not just add the new gimmicks to the old path?