Over the past five years, older visitors to city parks have noticed that the lawns and meadows adjoining the streams have been allowed to grow wild. While we, who appreciate the view and access to the creeks, see this new model as unkempt, our young politically correct speak of riparian buffers and grow zones. The riparian theory is that the undergrowth keeps the nitrogen runoff from the surrounding neighborhoods from reaching the streams; it soaks it up. In reality, Allentown's storm runoff system is piped directly into the streams, bypassing the buffers, which are then for naught. This charade continues to downgrade our traditional park system because of money. The Wildland's Conservancy get grants and ignore the pipes, and plants the nonsense. It's easier for the Conservancy to prevail upon the Park Department, than persuade farmers and private land owners beyond the parks, where the effort might really do something. These grants not only pay for the plants, more importantly, they play for the hypocrites' salaries. They are also funded by large corporations, which can feel better about their real pollution. The Allentown Park System has become a feel good, environmental playstation. The Conservancy's new grant is to remove dams in Allentown Parks. This practice, in theory, improves water quality. Just as the storm runoff pipes make the riparian buffers useless, the sewer pipe along the Little Lehigh makes the dam removal just another token project. When I pointed out the overflowing sewage pipe, they switched gears, and now speak of allowing fish to swim upstream. Our wonderful park system even takes care of that issue with the magnificent trout hatchery, on Fish Hatchery Road. Please help me protect and preserve the small iconic dam by the Parkway's Robin Hood Bridge. Let the grant hunters ply their hypocrisy elsewhere. Protect our traditional park system.
shown above are the pipes which release rain water directly into the Cedar Creek, next to the Rose Garden Ponds.