May 24, 2010
A Park Defender
An Insult To Sledders
December 17, 1987|The Morning Call
To the Editor:
While Mayor Daddona is confronted with resistance in his effort to deprive the people of their parklands, a less subtle and more effective deprivation has taken place. Parklands were effectively lost recently when park workers erected stout fencing and "No Sledding" signs on a slope in Lehigh Parkway where wholesome recreational activities have been traditional for five decades. Pathetic will be the frustration of kids, teeners, and adults who used the slope joyously day and night. Hikers, birders, and meanderers, equally frustrated, are likely to exclaim, "What knavery," some using a more juicy epithet expressing revulsion.
How and why did this miserable taking, a fait accompli without foreknowledge, come about? The motives of the perpetrators is clear. Grass cutting on the slope has suddenly become an impossible burden, patently beyond their capabilities. (Ron "Punkin" Miller handled the job for decades with supreme excellence). But the park management, with amazing stupidity, introduced a new mowing tractor equipped with heavy, sod-busting treads. Aghast, one observer inquired, "Are they going to plant potatoes in the ruts?"
The fencing and no-sledding mandate is just the beginning, however, of a heavy-handed intrusion militating against use and enjoyment of our parkland. The park people know the best way to eliminate grass cutting is to get rid of the grass. Ah, yes! To be sure. Pine trees. No grass, no leaves - the loss of a view? So what?
Three dozen pine trees already have been planted on the slope. If not removed, shortly there will be a thicket of pines, eliminating grass cutting, of course, but devastating an incomparable view and historic passage via the slope into the park.
What this town needs is for its citizenry to assert its basic rights and priorities over those public servants who perform with an assumption of proprietary interest, ignoring their true status.
BERT A. LUCKENBACH
Mr. Luckenbach lived above the Parkway, in the twin homes, now called Little Lehigh Manor. As a child, I also grew up in that neighborhood, and we all sled on the hill (above the Stone and Log House). Luckenbach passed away in 2000 at the age of 99. In the previous post, although 92 years old, he was still defending the park.