To the editor:
As a homeowner living just west of Free State High School, we are concerned about the suggestion that the city spend $300,000 to study and design a recreation building. To paraphrase President Obama, this idea is stupid! The city does not have $300,000 to spend on a project that will be used by a very small percentage of the population.
In a city that fosters the “green” philosophy, I would think that there would be a strong desire to keep the land natural. Travel to Germany and observe the green space set aside by communities Lawrence’s size. Instead of recreation buildings and athletic fields that only cater to a small segment of the community, they have parks that have been left natural with mature trees and fields full of native plants with walking paths that meander through the area. On any morning, rain or shine, you see folks from the very elderly to young mothers pushing baby strollers walking along the pathways. The only equipment provided by the city is an occasional bench for resting or an area set up for stretching, but nothing of great expense.
Why doesn’t Lawrence think “out of the box”? For way less than $300,000, you can landscape the area, cut in paths and pave a small parking area and not spend taxpayer dollars on a consulting firm from outside of the city. Lawrence has an excellent parks staff that could easily create this type of park that would require little to no maintenance.