Aug 11, 2012

Better Park Days

A Guest Post
My walks with my dog along the creek in Cedar Creek Park between Ott and Cedar Crest Blvd. have been some of the best times of my life. I have met many nice people and dogs in the past twelve years. I have seen and spoke with many people picnicking, reading a book, or just relaxing to the gurgling of the water while laying on a blanket along this beautiful creek. None of my dogs through the years, nor I, have ever had any ticks in this park until recently. All of this is gone now, along with many friends who will no longer come here because of the decision to "save" this creek (the clearest, cleanest in the area) by allowing weeds to grow along it, outwards of 20-30 feet or more. Please tell mayor Pawlowski and the park department to end this nonsense. No one at the park agrees with or likes the weeds, but say that there is nothing anyone can do about it. General Trexler intended for this land to be enjoyed by people, their children and pets, not to deny access to the creek. Please people speak up and demand that these weeds be cut. It will not take long for the ticks, mosquitos, snakes and vermin and the deadly diseases they carry, lyme disease, west nile virus, etc. to spread out from the park to the homes and neighborhood surrounding it. No one would tolerate their neighbors to have weeds growing next door to them. Please do not allow the city to destroy the beauty of this park any longer.
Tony Martin

The WPA and other park defenders will meet this coming Tuesday evening at 7:00p.m. in the lower level of The Allentown Library 

photo of park in 2008, when the creek was still accessible

24 comments:

AuH20 said...

The two-legged vermin in Allentown will now be joined by all the other kinds.

Michael Adams said...

It's a pestilence of Biblical proportion. Ticks,rats,snakes,groundhogs for Christs sake.blue heron,king fishers,Baltimore oriels, gold finches,indigo buntings.
Mir ducks,Canada geese,migratiory snow geese,red tails.and the occasional American Bald Eagle. Wild turkey,eastern white tail deer,red fox,grey squrral,flying squrral.chipmonks,assorted butterflyies and dragon flies.snapping turtles and fresh water elles and if that's not horrifying enough--------- chipmonks .
I could go on. Horrifying and tragic!
I stand squareljy behind Mr Martin to challenge this looming public health menace.
1) Mow,bank to bank
2) Blacktop when possible. An effective anti tic tatic.
3) Call CHEMLAWM ----/SPRAY CHEMICALS.
4) Support the Legislation for the Protection of the American lLawn Act
In the spirit of General Trexler, grab your herbicides and pesticide applicators,respirators and elbo length industrial grade gloves----- and lets get this done.

Anonymous said...

West Park is a mess. More and more trees are coming down and the landscaping has really deteriorated. Saw two people sleeping in the park this morning. I guess that is OK, it is a passive park, isn't it? Sleeping is farily passive. As the economy worsens, I am sure more will call it their home. Worst condition I have seen the park in, in a long time.

michael molovinsky said...

michael adams, tony's letter might be somewhat over the top, but it's from the heart. he also sent me photographs of his best friend, a small dog, playing in the stream before the buffers. he had seen the article in the paper about Keck Park, and read my quote about the parks being meant for people's enjoyment. they weren't designed to be a funding source for the wildlands conservancy, or a classroom for muhlenbergs science classes. none of the buffer advocates, like yourself, address the fact that the storm sewer pipes empty directly into the creeks, making the buffers useless for the primary job.

Anonymous said...

I was at the shakspere in the park this weekend and the show was good but the apitheater was more fabulos. Uncle Harry's architect and engineers were the most brilliant of the time and ours. The deteration of this gift is a form of attrition this administration this is how and why the parks will be subdevided and sold off?

michael molovinsky said...

@12:30, yes the amphitheater is irreplaceable. some facts about it.
1. the steps coming down from st. elmo need work if the structure is to last.
2. the left pillar on the stage is being undermined by the creek, and needs attention.
3. our group brought these issues to weitzel's attention almost a year ago.

the theater was built by the WPA as it's last project in allentown, several years after harry trexler was killed. although we are certainly indebted to trexler for many things in our parks, he was not involved in the WPA constructions.

Anonymous said...

You're a little bit famous without really trying. Numerous names that appear almost daily on your blog are included in today's Call editorial pages.

Anonymous said...

so, are you really having a new park meeting this week at the Library?

Michael Adams said...

Sir,buffers are just one necessary element in the design,implementation and management of a comprehensive strategy for healthy watersheds.
Buffers do a number of important functions,including reducing the time it takes for water that overflows the banks of a watercourse during a high water as it re-enters the ground.Limiting the damage caused by the flood water and reducing the negative effects of sewage or other pollutants in that water. Limiting and reducing,not eliminating.
Buffers do not replace the need for well designed and maintained storm water and sewage infrastructure with adequate capacity to handle high water events.
Well designed buffers do not limited opportunities for various landscape design elements and interesting view-sheds. Nor should they prevent the public from gaining access to a watercourse at regular intervals.
My dogs and I are in the park everyday.Flea and tic guard used according to the manufacturers instructions keep tics to a minimum.Consult your Vet.
Tic bites can be completely eliminated by remaining in environments comprised of concrete and blacktop.

michael molovinsky said...

mr. adams, the park system traditionally stabilized the banks with the root systems from willow trees planted about every 25 feet, with both view and access in between. as they died out and succumbed to wind storms, they were not replaced. you may have noticed that i have been displaying classic postcards from 1948, all of which feature the stream. It would be difficult to take a picture postcard now, with nothing but a wall of bushes, with no creek in view. your comment contains numerous "if" and "shoulds". these are city parks, not yellowstone or state game lands. your advocacy for the buffers is noted, but as editor of molovinsky on allentown the majority of column space will be devoted to restoring the traditional park system. perhaps you should make your points on andrew kleiner's blog, or at the wildlands news letter. i think the key word there is "wildland"

Michael Adams said...

Mr Molovinsky,with all do respect sir, the key words have yet to be written in this exchange ------- source water.
Your references to Yelliwstone and wild lands escapes me. I'm talking about managing watersheds at the rural-suburban-urban interface.
I share your love of willows as a design feature in Allentown parks. As an earlier commenter noted,a "no mow zone" is a sad excuse for a raparian buffer, which appropriately has three components- trees -woody shrubs-grasses/wildflowers. Sadly, it should be noted,willow "litter" that accumulates on the stream bottom does nothing to further healthy trout habitat.
I appreciate the dialogue on your site and the opportunity to comment. Given your scope and emphasis,this would appear to be an excellent forum for this conversation. Why preach to the converted at Mr Kleiner's site? This seems to be"where the action is"!
Thank you for letting me weigh in.

John P. Chapkovich said...

Mike, really what was originally done with the park system when it was built, regarding the willow trees, was actually a riparian buffer. The trees are actually a better buffer than the weeds (I'm not joking, look it up). That is what I was trying to explain on your other post. It is better for the trees to be planted than a no-mow zone. If you would like I can probably attempt to get you the articles I cited in my comment on the other similar topic.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Adams -

The point is that until this ridiculous "no-mow" policy was put in place, you didn't have to consult your vet (or pediatrician) to be protected from ticks in the city's parks. They were maintained in a fashion that made the issue irrelevant.

You might prefer the parks being maintained in this manner, but let's be honest. The real reason for the change is merely an excuse to cover the reduction in park employees brought on by the continued mismanagement in City Hall. The "environmentalists" are simply being duped by the simple-minded politicians running this town.

MM - you might want to check out the pond at Union Terrace, which seems to be the latest victim of this policy.

michael molovinsky said...

mr. adams, you have indicated that the buffers are not being done correctly, so what we have then is what i have previously referred to as the worst of both worlds. the watershed discussion is also overstated. first of all, most of our water is piped in from schantz spring, by-passing the streams. secondly, as you well know, a sewer main runs along the little lehigh, with storm sewers running into it. the wildlands conservancy argued for the buffers saying that they keep things out of the creek. you say that they keep things in the creek. i say that they keep kids and adults out. they spoil the access and view. if necessary take one park, maybe keck, and devote it to you John Muir types. leave the rest of the system in the traditional mode for the rest of us to enjoy.

john, i completely support renewing the use of willow trees as a buffer. new willow trees have not been planted along our streams for decades.

the meeting tuesday evening will be short, from 7 to 8, at which time the library closes.

Anonymous said...

Willows are planted by water edges across the East Coast. Traveling this summer to ocean spots, they're everywhere. Beautiful and still allow visitors to see the landscape.
No longer the case in Allentown.
The new tall grasses seem lazy alternative.

Anonymous said...

My kids see lawn at home. We go to the park to see butterflies,birds and hawks.

michael molovinsky said...

the butterflies, birds and hawks have always been in the parks, most of which also have woods. does your lawn have a creek through it?

Anonymous said...

I go to the park to effectively combat Racism by playing at a super-duper multi-generational playground that costs who knows God what.

I'd rather be swimming at Fountain, but I understand that a wonderful Transformation in process ... so I am compliantly patient as I wait for the money to fix my favorite swimming pool to get magically found by caring and compassionate Bureaucrats.

LOYAL ALLENTOWN DEMOCRAT VOTER

Anonymous said...

The Crystal Spring,basicly a large pipe inside the Water Dept. building on MLK Blvd.,supplies most of the water to Allentown residents. Shantz Spring is a close second,although the LCA increasingly buys Shantz Spring water.
This doesn't make the Littlle Lehigh and it's tributaries any less worthy of the fullest protection as source water.
Protecting these streams was part of the Generals motivation for the park system.

michael molovinsky said...

there is much misinformation about the general's motivations. allentown parks and the little lehigh have coexisted for 90 years without the riparian buffers. as far as protecting the water source, when one considers the LCA sewer line, which occasionally overflows, running next to the stream, the buffer project really becomes meager tokenism. you riparian advocates should be addressing the administration's plans to put the water system into private hands, and the county's encouragement of pollution by ocean spray. of course it's much easier to defend token feel good nonsense like riparian buffers anonymously on a blog by commenting, than actually fight for something in the public arena.

Anonymous said...

A bit presumptuous for you to assume that good people are not doing much more than anonymously commenting on your blog.
This is the kind of contempt one expects from the worst politicians.

Anonymous said...

You claim to know the motivation for a group of people,demean them,insult them by calling them dupes,lazy token dupes at that,then welcome them to your meeting?
Can't we all do better than that?

michael molovinsky said...

@2:54 and 3:01, i know two things. you cannot talk at any public meeting without identifying yourself, and not too many people go to meetings. i write this blog and occasionally conduct public meetings to address what i perceive as shortcomings in our municipal government. at neither venue will i pander for comments or attendance.

Anonymous said...

Excellent work