Letter to the Editor—Geauga County Maple Leaf, August 18, 2017

Letters to the Editor



Protect Geauga Parks is being maligned and misrepresented by public officials and public board members who should know better.

No, we are not dangerous. No, we have never harassed anyone. Look at the unedited videos of GPD Board meetings going back to 2014 to see for yourself. You have a better chance of being accosted by a Bigfoot in the parks than you have of being harmed by a PGP supporter . . . but this rumor mongering is not about reality, is it?

Yes, we want park land to be protected and we applaud and support efforts that help to bring people into the natural world and especially those that help to educate people about the value of nature.

The Geauga Park District had a wonderful history of achieving a balance: Protection of beautiful and pristine natural areas with a robust land acquisition strategy, excellent nature programs, wonderful naturalist-led hikes and programs, outreach to artists, musicians and photographers, fantastic children’s programs and a world class Dark Sky park with opportunities to learn about astronomy, all well attended.

Plus bicycle trails, horse trails, hiking trails, phenomenal picnic areas and shelters with appropriate access and parking; these are all things that made the Geauga

Park District one of the best park districts in Ohio.

Unfortunately, in the last few years, that appropriate and balanced approach has become muddled into a “more is better / get bodies into the parks at any cost” top-down philosophy. This has led to the current “Adventure Ready” campaign.

Adventure parks are a whole different endeavor and one that we doubt that the taxpayers of the county ever planned to support when voting for park levies.

High impact “thrill” activities could really be done anywhere because they have no relationship to nature, so why force them into a public park that was created to conserve natural resources? These high impact thrill activities generally require a lot of costly infrastructure, costly maintenance and expose the taxpayers to the possibility of costly lawsuits.

The key is balance and that is why Protect Geauga Parks would like to see common sense standards for transparent decision-making used by the Geauga Park District board. This is what we have been requesting for the past three years. (Please see our suggestions for 4 Common Sense Standards on our website, Protect Geauga Parks stands for conservation, common sense and transparency.

Kathryn Hanratty, President
Protect Geauga Parks

Categories: Commentary

1 reply »

  1. If I wasn’t already a supporter of Protect Geauga Parks, this excellent letter would have convinced me to embrace the cause. Thank you, Kathy Hanratty, for making me want to stand up and say, “I’m for conservation, common sense and transparency, too!”

    ~ Kathleen Webb


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