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A fronte praecipitium a tergo lupi. (In front of you, a precipice. Behind you, wolves.)

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

The Rise and Fall of Lower Lincoln Park

I am annoyed.

Yesterday I went to a nearby park to be an unobtrusively supervising adult for my youngest son and his cousin and a few other boys while they played 'Army' out in the surrounding desert. I didn't want to be a helicopter mom, so I mostly walked around picking up trash.

A lot of trash.

What used to be a fairly nice park has turned into a fetid, junky, dry swamp. Apparently because of vandalism, the 'Powers That Be' took all the playground equipment out. So now, instead of a nice place that actually has trees higher than chest height and things for kids to do, this place has nothing except dog logs and broken beer bottles.

The aforesaid PTB also decided to post the large fire pit. On it is a sign saying: Warning! Extreme Fire Danger. No fires in this fire pit. So I'm standing there staring into a trash-filled fire pit thinking:

Of course there's extreme danger of fire! It's a stinkin' fire pit for crying out loud! That's where you're supposed to have your fires!

It's not like the pit is in a dangerous place, either. It's a big cement ring out in a sandy area away from trees! This makes me think that the PTB don't really even want people to be in that park.

On the other end, what kind of people 'defaecate in their own pool' like those who vandalize? I mean seriously! Why would a person go to a place meant for the enjoyment of everyone in the area and render it ugly and broken and unusable? It's not even just completely selfish, because They're making it so they can't use it either!

The other silly thing about this place is that for some years now, the neighborhood nazi element in our HOA has been trying to push the idea that the wash area edging the park is a 'bird sanctuary'. Like birds would rather fly to that 'hiking trail' than hang out in the less populous desert right next to it. I have only rarely seen birds in the 'sanctuary'--no more than any other desert-y place.

In fact, I see more raptors out in the desert on the other side of the park than in the 'bird sanctuary'. What, are the birds suddenly more protected on that little hiking trail? Not from my cub scouts. If those boys see something interesting, it's all we leaders can do to keep those boys from poking it with a stick.

So what ends up happening, is that the PTB spend piles of our hard-earned cash making a bogus 'sanctuary', which is a colossal waste of taxpayer money, while removing the things we do use, which make the park a fun place to be.

This is all in direct opposition to my experience in Washington state. Those people are building some spectacular neighborhood parks! They must be designed by some seriously child-like people who know the value of playtime and enjoy it to the hilt. Those parks were even fun for adults to visit!

I think we in Tucson are going the wrong direction. Instead of wasting money (as they constantly do) on worthless frills and pocket-lining schemes, why not make the things they do build really count? Make something we can actually use and be proud of. Unless they don't really want people to actually use the parks...

And for those people who don't care about the parks and city where they live, they should go back to the hole out of which they crawled. It's probably befouled with broken beer bottles and other rancid trash, but that is apparently where they belong.

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