Aug 30, 2010

Boat Landing Threatened


Last fall, about a dozen people toiled on two different occasions to uncover the Boat Landing, which had been buried for about 40 years. Although we didn't excavate the entire construction, a significant portion of that WPA structure was returned to the citizens of Allentown. I'm sad to report that the Park Department is allowing nature to once again overgrow this one of a kind icon. There are several dynamics in play. The Park Department is being pressured by the environmentalists to create a Riparian Buffer, a no mow zone along the creek. That program dovetails with the departments reduced manpower situation very well. As well meaning as that effort may be, it is essential that the Boat Landing and other WPA Constructions be exceptions to that program.

One of the reasons that the Allentown Park System became nationally recognized, was because of the magnificent stone structures built by the WPA during the Depression. These constructions, in addition to being architecturally beautiful, are a historic legacy of this city. We must do what ever is necessary to insure their preservation.

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

Park employee shortages may explain why for the past two months, the Lehigh Parkway rusting doggie do bag bins have been empty. It would be better for the park department's public relations image to take these down as routine weekend visitor comments are anything but positive. Oddly enough, the bins at Trexler Park...always full.

gary ledebur said...

MM: I don;t know if you knew it or not but when Yoko Ono and John Lennon were living in Manhattan they would drive to Allentown just to stroll in the parks where they could enjoy the beauty and quiet and not be bothered by fans. Keep up the fight to save one of the best park systems in the USA.

Anonymous said...

I'm just glad the asphalt looks so wonderful at Cedar Beach.

Wetzel for Mayor.

Anonymous said...

gary ledebur said...

MM: I don;t know if you knew it or not but when Yoko Ono and John Lennon were living in Manhattan they would drive to Allentown just to stroll in the parks where they could enjoy the beauty and quiet and not be bothered by fans. Keep up the fight to save one of the best park systems in the USA.

August 30, 2010 9:45 AM

Dear Gary,
We too heard this often.

Anonymous said...

Why doesn't the city's Friends of the Parks undertake this boat landing debris maintenance as one of its public service mission projects?
Also, why doesn't this same group
undertake the doggie do baggie replacement in all the parks? No way Lehigh Parkway's staff can do it all! The city's park dept. is 20 men less. No department can maintain a past schedule with such a huge loss of manpower.
On another topic but close at hand, Mr. Molovinsky, since you are the city's eyes and ears for all things parks, are you aware within a month or so, the Lehigh Parkway staff will be required to put down their shovels and clippers and begin the annual "Lights" installation project.
The Lights in the Parkway doesn't just happen although most think it it does. It takes hundreds upon hundreds of man hours to install and remove and now you can be an eye-witness and online reporter to help everyone understand how much hard work and effort goes into this popular project.

Chris Casey said...

Sign me up Mike! when's the clean up this year?!

Mike Schware said...

MM -

This is slightly off topic, but since we are talking about preserving park structures I wanted to chime in.

I was running last weekend around the covered bridge area of the Parkway. After my run, I walked up to the nearby spring house (behind the credit union).

It looks like the wall of the pond outside the springhouse has been undermined. Water is visible (through a sink hole) and appears to be coming from under the wall.

I would guess that this does not bode well for the structure if it is not repaired before winter.

Anonymous said...

I've been running, walking and biking in the parkway since I was 15 yrs old in 1975. I'm now 49 and live two hours north, and my wife and I still return on weekends to walk and run. We know there are very few parks like this anywhere in the country. What can we do to help clean and restore it to its former beauty? Mr. MM, please post dates and times of any such planned events.

michael molovinsky said...

anon 6:15, first i'm going to speak with the park director and see if the city will maintain the structure; if not, i will organize a cleanup and announce it on this blog.

Anonymous said...

We'll help you with the volunteer efforts. That little spring house by the credit union and its stream have been at risk. It is good to hear someone has seen a new danger. It must be immediately addressed.
This is a city treasure and needs to be protected.

Anonymous said...

"help everyone understand how much hard work and effort goes into this popular project."

August 30, 2010 7:03 PM

Mr. Molovinsky,
Maybe with you on top of this,
the Lights installation takes the park workers from other work.

Anonymous said...

MM -

While I think the Boat Landing cleanup is a good idea, some here seem to be advocating an ongoing volunteer effort to maintain the entire Parkway. That should not be the focus.

No matter how dedicated a group of volunteers, the ongoing maintenance required by the Parkway (and other City parks) requires full-time workers.

The point of the boat landing cleanup should not only be to reclaim what has been covered over the last year, but to publicize the misplaced priorities of this administration.

While much-needed park workers lost their jobs, the Mayor got a raise and all of his assistants remained.

Anyone concerned about the Parkway should remember this come election time and hold those responsible accountable. That includes those on City Council who have allowed those park workers to be lost.

Anonymous said...

While I think the Boat Landing cleanup is a good idea, some here seem to be advocating an ongoing volunteer effort to maintain the entire Parkway.


It would take thousands of hours to maintain the parkway.