Recently, a former park user contacted me through a Morning Call reporter. For many years he took great joy in taking his dog to Cedar Park, where he could play in the stream. That tradition ended last year, when both he and his dog couldn't access the creek without getting ticks. For those who haven't been to the parks in a few years, let me explain. We now have No Mow Zones and riparian buffers. The uncut brush is supposed to prevent herbicides from the surrounding neighborhoods from entering the water. In Allentown's case, the zones and buffers are just for show, because our storm sewer pipes empty directly in the streams, bypassing the buffers. Why would our former park director deny the public both view and access to the water? He teamed up with Abigail Pattishall from the Wildlands Conservancy, another grantmeister, to take advantage of a current grant buzz word, riparian. They're even allowing the six feet between the reflection pool and the creek to grow up. In addition to ticks, the thick underbrush encourages snakes. Did I tell you that Abigail is a trained herpetologist, specializing in water snakes? The water is now only seen from three bridges which cross the creek. Traditionally, the stream banks were stabilized by willow trees. I would like to see both new willow trees and children return to the stream banks in our beautiful parks. The Allentown WPA Association will meet on Tuesday August 14, at 7:00 p.m. in the lower level of the Allentown library. If you also have concerns about the park system, please join us.