Jun 7, 2013

Park Ranger Report

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.

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

Mike,

In twenty years I've never seen West Park look so bad. When I drive by Cedar Beach the tall growth around the creek give it an unkempt look as well.
City without limits.

Scott Armstrong

michael molovinsky said...

scott @5:51, for that defiling of our park system credit the Wildland's Conservancy and their token science fair projects. while we have grow zones and riparian buffers blocking view and access to our park waterways, storm sewer pipes go directly into the streams, bypassing the buffers anyway. muhlenberg lake has the land bridge stagnating the water. hopefully, eventually the citizens of allentown will regain control of our iconic park system.

Anonymous said...

Please ask John to attend special permit events in Lehigh Parkway this summer and July 4th picnics so he personally can be an eye witness to the extensive overuse of park grasses and open space. Last night a wonderful event took place there but easily 1,000 cars parked anywhere and everywhere. The hillside and tree roots
adjacent to the aluminum storage barn was covered with cars. No way this number of cars should have been allowed in the Parkway.
Buses to transport families should have been used. No order whatsoever! Babies alone walking in the street as cars rushed to leave in the 7 p.m. rain. Extremely dangerous situation that warranted police presence or at least volunteers conducting traffic control.

Anonymous said...



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mike,

In twenty years I've never seen West Park look so bad. When I drive by Cedar Beach the tall growth around the creek give it an unkempt look as well.
City without limits.

Scott Armstrong

June 7, 2013 at 5:51 AM

Agree with Scott. Cedar Crest just dirt along the roadway in the once beautiful area adjacent to Cedar Crest College.

Anonymous said...

7:39 -

Don't expect that to improve if the city builds a new fire training facility there. Part of that hillside will be taken, and traffic will surely get worse.

michael molovinsky said...

@9:33, that's one of the reasons we need to keep the dam at robin hood. imagine if the dam is removed, and the increased water velocity damages the bridge to the parking lot. the city never replaced the damaged iron bridge, and finally the county give us the pedestrian bridge. that dam has been there for many decades. harry trexler's fish hatchery can provide enough trout upstream. let the wildland's concern itself with other projects, in more natural settings.

Anonymous said...

I think General Trexler would most displeased with the mismanagement greed and theft of the estate he left for all to enjoy.

michael molovinsky said...

i think that the general may be displeased with many the priorities and decisions made by the city, which seems to have little appreciation of the traditional park system, but i know of no theft.

Karen El-Chaar said...

I have comments on two aspects of recent posts. First, I agree with Scott that the riparian buffer zones at Cedar Beach and in particular the area behind the stone house and along the creek at the Rose Garden are unsightly. Friends of the Allentown Parks is working with individuals knowledgeable in native plants to review/inventory the area and develop a potential maintenance plan. Second, as regards Robin Hood Dam, analysis should be done to assess the structural capacity of the Robin Hood Bridge as well as determine possible impact with any change in water flow. Opportunity for public comment should also be given prior to movement on the dam. As an aside, both dam and bridge add a lot to the ambience of the park.