Friday, August 03, 2007

TGIF and other thoughts

Well, I got up earlier than usual this morning and got to thinking about things that tend to annoy me here in New Jersey. I do that a lot, especially in summer. One of those things is the upcoming "upgrading of Verona Park " by Essex County. So, what are they doing? Planting new trees? Putting fish in the pond (it really isn't a lake, Verona) like catfish that would help keep the water clean, instead of trout, which don't belong in standing pools of water? Widening the drainage ditch that they call the Peckman River (really more like a creek in Verona, although it might be an actual river somewhere)? Make pathways less bike friendly if they are going to forbid bike riding?

The answer to all that is no, of course. This is New Jersey and Essex County, which possibly has the least common sense outside Trenton. They'll be putting in "Fitness Stations" - another thing that will deteriorate and have to be replaced in the future, thereby giving someone's relatives a new contract; "enhanced landscaping (probably non-native plants - another thing that will have to be kept up by a firm under contract - or County Public Works - who probably do less than Verona's own Public Works) and walking paths"; (want to bet they aren't going to be easy on feet?); and "improved drainage" - which will probably go into the pond, making it even muddier and less hospitable to helpful birds and fish.

And this improvement will probably take years, cost too much money and make a mess of traffic through Verona. To say nothing of wrecking existing fauna and the original park plan alleged to be by Frederick Law Olmsted, who created parks that all of Verona would fit into, with room left over.

There, end rant for the moment. I hope I'm wrong - but I doubt it....
UPDATE: Verona Park was designed by Olmsted's firm, not the great park designer himself. The firm was headed by his two sons at the time Verona Park was made into a public park - it used to be a private park in the 19th and early 20th centuries.

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