photo by Tami Quigley
Last spring I conducted a well attended tour of the WPA structures in Lehigh Parkway for Friends Of The Allentown Parks. We ended the tour at the last WPA structure built in Allentown, the Robin Hood Bridge. This fall I unsuccessfully tried to save the dam, which was built with the bridge as part of the beautiful setting. The Wildlands Conservancy had a grant to remove the dam, from which they also harvest administrative fees. In a crass act of destruction they removed the dam, and piled the broken dam rubble around the beautiful stone piers, destroying a classic view which Allentown had enjoyed for over 70 years. A naturalist told me the other day that the project even disappointed from his environmental point of view. The stream is no deeper, the silt didn't reduce, and a large portion of the former stream-bed is exposed. Although I recognize and support Friends Of The Parks as a most worthwhile organization, I must respectfully decline their invitation to conduct another tour this coming spring. It is apparent that this Mayor, City Council and even the new park director have no appreciation of the irreplaceable gifts that were bestowed upon our park system so many years ago.