Jul 9, 2009

Wildlands Conservancy Sell's Out

In today's Morning Call*, Abigail Pattishall, praises the park plans at Cedar Park; apparently she didn't drive by Cedar Beach last evening. Pattishall's praise was earned by the Park Department agreeing to plant riparian buffers along the creek west of Ott Street. Riparian buffers are shrubs left to grow along the creek banks. They reduce the amount of fertilizers and pesticides which can enter a stream; never mind that the park land is not farmed, nor are chemicals applied. The zones also help reduce flooding. The Conservancy, in exchange for this gesture, has ignored the consequences of all the remaining plans. The new plans increase the amount of impervious surface in the flood plain dramatically. How much surface will be covered by the new Destination Playground and it's required parking? How much surface will be covered by the new pavilions, walkways and lighted paths?

Had Ms. Pattishall drove by Cedar Beach last evening she would have seen hundreds and hundreds of cars parked on all the grassland between the creek and Hamilton Street. (Basketball Tournament). The compaction of the soil that occurred last evening will negate any benefit against flooding provided by a riparian buffer. I can accept the riparian buffer zone project. I cannot accept groups, which should know better, condoning intrusions on the park system, just because their pet project is accommodated.

* http://www.mcall.com/news/opinion/anotherview/all-pullqt.6953702jul09,0,6487124.story


Anonymous said...

"Pattishall's praise was earned by the Park Department agreeing to plant riparian buffers along the creek west of Ott Street. "

Please don't forget to invite Pattishall and have her bring a few blue ribbons to one of the local fishing contests where participants actually bring weedwackers and cut down the riparian grasses for convenience sake.

Anonymous said...

"How much surface will be covered by the new Destination Playground and it's required parking? How much surface will be covered by the new pavilions, walkways and lighted paths?"

Smarter than you know, Mr. Molovinsky, because in other parks during huge participation-oriented events, parking on grassy meadows is the norm and those areas have never returned to their prior state. The water run-offs from Cedar Beach's soon-to-be new paved areas will end up going somewhere during storms.

Anonymous said...

Build it and they will come.

Yet no one from the city has explained how the new Destination Playground will be maintained.
Taxpayers deserve answers. City park lands, we believe, cover more than 2,000 acres. Just how are city workers to maintain with shortages? Maybe you might feel comfortable contacting Weitzel to ask?

Today's Call:
"Allentown's largest union is bracing for layoffs of 9 percent of its members, while the city's nonunion employees will go without a pay increase this year, officials confirmed Wednesday."

Anonymous said...

MM, I agree with all the points you've made about what is happening to Allentown's parks. It is a travesty.

However, is it right to expect the Conservancy to take part in this fight? The soil at Cedar Beach has been compacted by events like that for decades. I doubt last night's parking did any additional damage - that damage is already done.

The Banker

Anonymous said...

A man striving to make a mark. It is evident. Backed into a corner and unable to make a difference, to really accomplish something.

KOZs do not make it anymore. The city continues to deteriorate without any real economic base to sustain even the most minimal quality of life for most of it's citizens.

People are killing themselves or others and kids increasingly live in fatherless homes and poverty.

The administration's solution is a destination park and it is doubtful the money will even exist to maintain the technology already on the cusp of obsolescence.

How sad that such a varied group of intelligent and educated people are struck with so much myopia they can not even grasp a wisp of reality.

monkey momma said...

Pattishall probably realizes that she cannot do anything to stop this horrid park, and getting the riparian border installed is a small attainable victory. I mean, it could be worse - they could pave over the entire area and make it a hockey arena, right?? Or better yet, attach some low income, high density housing right there??

My bet, based on the wonderful work the Pool Wildlife Sanctuary does on a daily basis, is that Pattishall is picking her battles, and she probably knows the playground battle cannot be won. Allentown's elected officials have already decided on this nightmare, and ruffling their feathers in a disagreement isn't worth the fight.

Either that, or she got a bag of money dropped at her doorstep in the middle of the night!

Anonymous said...

Morning Call, Friday:
"Allentown ended 2008 with a $5.9 million deficit, significantly larger than the $3.5 million shortfall Mayor Ed Pawlowski acknowledged in March, according to an independent audit."

Even though the city is $6 million in debt, Cedar Beach Playground plans continue. Who is going to maintain this project once it is completed? We're not opposed to park improvements, but this project "the largest on the East Coast" will require enormous energies and efforts to maintain and the mayor remains silent on how he plans to do that.

Anonymous said...

Someone wrote:
"My bet, based on the wonderful work the Pool Wildlife Sanctuary does on a daily basis, is that Pattishall is picking her battles, and she probably knows the playground battle cannot be won. "

She didn't have to say anything then, she could have remained silent. By her long-winded commentary, she granted her support to the project.

ironpigpen said...

Interesting thought Monkey Momma.

People who do not believe bags of money CAN, in fact, magically appear overnight should call me IMMEDIATELY.

I have a few bridges in New York I am prepared to let go of for a song!

Remember, you can't "buy a community"!

But, influence...

Anonymous said...

Retired ASD teacher here.

To the anonymous poster who claims to be smarter than Mr. Molivinsky . . . .

parking on grassy meadows DOES return to its original state!

Don't be silly. This kind of temporary practice is used worldwide to accommodate special events.

Even if we accept your assertion, would you be willing to undergo a $2000 repair bill in exchange for any event that would bring in a million or more dollars to your local merchants?

aurora said...

It seems to me, mr. molovinsky, you just need something to complain about. I'm not sure what I find more offensive, Your holier than thou attitude or your ignorance. Please explain to me what you feel gives you the right to be such a ASS to the people trying improve the area and the environment.

I'm sure it's easy for you to sit behind your computer and critic Dr. Pattishall and the rest of the Wildlands Conservancy for their efforts. You clearly know nothing of the work they do orthe impressive accomplishments the organization has achived over the years.

For the record criticism without an alternative solution makes you a whiney brat not a catalyst for change. So until you develop the perfect solution that makes the whole world happy, protects the environment, makes the parks a better place to be and doesn't cost anyone a dime, shut up.

michael molovinsky said...

dear aurora, there are no less than four groups and 6 blogs enabling the current park plans. it seems to me that you should be better able to tolerate one voice of dissent. in two years this blog has championed the hamilton st. merchants, bicentennial park, the wpa stone structures and other causes. i clearly state i have no issue with riparian buffers, just with their silence on all the other issues.

Andrew Kleiner said...

Glad to see you acknowledge some sort of support for Riparian Buffer work.(or at least a lack of complaint) It is an absolute necessity.

Anonymous said...


You consistently speak up after all the work and consensus building has occurred with any given project in town.

Why don't you involve yourself from the beginning and have your opinion heard when it can actually be incorporated into a plan.

Please don't say you didn't know of the public meetings at the library for the park, you did.

michael molovinsky said...

andrew, if there seems to be many "complaints" on this blog, it's because there is a lack of them elsewhere. how does anybody advocate for riparian buffers, ignoring the fact that in lehigh parkway the city dumps tons of salt on the road to facilitate "lights in the parkway" crowds?

michael molovinsky said...

anon 3:33, thats a good question. although i have seen promo's for the path plan and keck park renovations, I saw no ads or such for the major cedar park plan. city council didn't receive the plans until the day of approval. would you or your fellow apologists please provide dates in which meetings where announced in the morning call for the cedar park plans?

aurora said...

Again I'd like to point out you have the luxury of sitting behind a computer and not actually having to accomplish anything. It is easy for you to say they are silent on the issue. The fact of the matter is an organization will always accomplish more with friends than it will with enemies. You should be happy something is getting done and we are moving in the right direction.

You seem to have no sense of reality or what it takes to get things accomplished. I again ask you again to layout a better, realistic plan than what is being done.

I have no problem with people voicing an opinion. However when criticism comes with out an intention to work toward a better solution it moves from social commentary to someone just wanted to make noise.

Anonymous said...

Is the Pool Wildlife Sanctuary governed by a trust?

If so, does anyone know when the trust expires and what is to be done with the proceeds?

Anonymous said...

You bring up a good point about impervious surface Mr. Molvinsky, however the devil is in the way you expressed yourself not in the content. Give Wildlands the benefit of the doubt. Instead of starting with an attack on Wildlands, try engaging them. "Hey Wildlands. Nice job on the riparian buffer thing. Would you take on the ridiculous amount of impervious surface for the new park? Clearly, you guys know how to get things done," or some such sentiment. You catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.

michael molovinsky said...

aurora, i don't quite understand what your issue is. i'm opposed to the park plans. I do not want the wedding pavilion at the rose gardens, or the other changes there. i do not want the lighted pathways throughout the west side of the park. i do not want the destination playground. we have a new park director, working under a new mayor, who have the mistaken impression that this system needs major redesign. i find it disappointing that the conservancy, the environmental advisory group and "friends of the parks" are pleased with that agenda. go back in this blog to sept. and you will find photographs of the wpa steps with 3.5 years worth of undergrowth destroying the steps. the fact that they are now being attended to is a direct result of this blog. if it's easy for me to be a critic behind a keyboard, it must even be easier for you writing anonymously.

monkey momma said...

Aurora -
You write of getting things accomplished. What needs to be accomplished in Allentown's parks??? The answer is...NOTHING! All the work has been done. We just need to maintain these parks, and many would argue that we cannot do that well now.

I presume you are in favor of the new playground. Correct? (If I'm wrong, let me know.) I would say, nothing is WRONG at Cedar Beach. Leave it alone. Why erect a huge playground? There are so many things wrong with this playground plan, so I will assume you already know the arguments. I just don't understand why you are advocating CHANGING an already thriving and wonderful place? This will not move anybody forward - it will only create a drain on our local economy.

Is the power of the pen mightier than the sword? I think it might be. In which case, Molovinsky is indeed getting involved and participating in the decision making process.

LVCI said...

We already have an amusement park in the area to drop the kids off. Parks are intended to be a respite from blasting stereos, crowds, screaming kids, litter and other annoyances that come with living in an urban area. I'm so against filling every square foot of Allentown's Parks up with erector set like stuff that would bring these very same elements.

Our parks were never intended to become playgrounds. Face it many parents dump their kids off at various Allentown pools currently. Ask a lifeguard. They will tell you they are the cheapest babysitter in town! Much would be the same with a super-sized playground.

Purchase a season ticket for DP's wildwater. The kids will thank you a lot more, they will be under safety supervision, in an already well maintained park with the latest allures and a season pass is only a fraction of the cost of a baby sitter.

Small set asides for playgrounds close to various neighborhoods are the way to go. The kind of local parks that kids don't have to travel a couple of miles to get to. A place where kids can make neighborhood buddies they can play with everyday not just on a one day trip to Cedar Beach here and there. Is LANTA going to add this route too?

Parks are habitats for the critters and those wishing to take a break from the inner city. Let's keep it that way.

If that makes me a, "a whiney brat not a catalyst for change. too.. then like Sarah says, "you' betcha'".

Anonymous said...


Please ask the council to brine the roads during the light festival rather before a storm event rather than dumping salt. Cheaper and better for the environment. Would save the city thousands of dollars if they did this city wide. That would help reduce the deficit and help meet their NPDES stormwater requirements. In fact why the hell is the mayor not relying on his kitchen cabinet for these simple answers? he sure pays them enough.

Mike S