Well boys and girls, it's been almost a year since my first Park Ranger Report. Former Park Director, Greg Weitzel, is no longer with us. I have been contacted by someone in Idaho who is underwhelmed by Greg, he apparently took his Water World Plan with him to the new job. While on the subject of swimming, I made a disturbing discovery on a recent walk in Fountain Park. Although the City claims that the pool there is closed because of a filter problem, I noticed that the pool building hasn't been painted in so many years, that it's green paint is actually fading away. That lack of maintenance suggests that closing that location was planned years ago.
Rick Holtzman, Park Superintendent, served as acting Park Director between Weitzel and his replacement. During Holtzman's tenure, the park system was struck by Hurricane Sandy. As reported previously on this blog, the damage was extensive. Dozens of trees were lost throughout the system, especially in Cedar Park. To complicate the situation there, one tree smashed the walking bridge, just west of the rose garden. Holtzman did a terrific job cleaning up the parks, replanting trees, and even replacing the destroyed bridge.
I'm proud to report that awareness of the WPA has increased to the point that this outlaw was asked to conduct a tour of Lehigh Parkway. Soon, I hope to report that some funding has been secured for restoration of those iconic structures. Lastly, I got an opportunity to meet the new Park Director, John Mikowychok. I made a pitch for both the WPA and the traditional park system. My current park project is attempting to save the Robin Hood Dam from being removed by the Wildland's Conservancy. They received a grant to remove dams. Removing that small dam could well undermine the Robin Hood Bridge, and will destroy the ambience of the WPA designed section of the park. Hopefully, the City will protect this irreplaceable part of our history.