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"Residents Want to Dump Meadow Conversion Plan," Says Bucks County Herald. Not True, Says Mack!

"Residents Want to Dump Meadow Conversion Plan," Says Bucks County Herald. Not True, Says Mack! | Newtown News of Interest | Scoop.it

People want clean water; that much is known. The question becomes however, how much folks are willing to sacrifice to ensure the local water supply.

At last week’s Newtown Township Board of Supervisors bi-monthly meeting, discussion over the township’s Pollution Reduction Plan (PRP) grew heated. At the center of the debate is a 6.21-acre portion of Roberts Ridge Park that the township had planned to turn into meadowland.

By the end of the more than two and a half hour session, however, Township Manager Micah Lewis was walking back at least part of that plan, saying he’d have the public works department mow the meadow the next day.

It was made quite clear by several residents who live in close proximity to Roberts Ridge that citizens do not want to see that portion of the open space that sits closest to their homes turned into a meadow – even if the township’s reasons for doing so are hinged on reducing pollution runoff into local waterways.

“The word meadow suggests something very beautiful. But I was born and raised in Jersey City and my father would take the dog for a walk in the Secaucus Meadowlands; it wasn’t so beautiful.

“I don’t like it in my backyard,” said Mary Ingrassia, of Newtown Walk.
 
“I know it has to go somewhere but I have to register: the word meadow really doesn’t accurately describe 6.2 acres that will really be rather unkempt, mowed only two times a year.”

“It is a portion of the park that’s not designated for a specific use,” responded Township Manager Micah Lewis.

“As I can attest, it’s used all the time,” she shot back. “We meet there every day with our animals to have obedience training, there’s all sorts of things.”

According to Lewis, the plan was published in legal announcements along with a notice that the township was accepting comments it is required to submit alongside the PRP. The meadow conversion at Roberts Ridge began, said Lewis, in an effort to show the DEP the township’s commitment to pollution reduction.

johnmacknewtown's insight:

Residents DO NOT want to "dump" the meadow conversion plan. Roberts Ridge Park is unique case - it is a small park that is surrounded by densely populated communities. People in these communities use the open space in that park every day - especially the large area that was ORIGINALLY converted to a meadow WITHOUT any input from local residents. The Twp claimed they were only converting "Under Utilized" park areas to meadows. The residents disputed that claim with regard to RR park. As a result of resident input the meadow plan was ALTERED for RR Park (see new plan. Red outlines new plan, yellow original plan). As a result, we have a better plan, offers of help from environmentalists, etc. Our Twp Planner, Ms. Fountain noted that she has done similar work for quite a few other municipalities and "this by far beats any other municipality [regarding] residents' comments on the plan. It's a compliment to Newtown residents and how vested they are in the plan." [See the video of her comments here.]

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Newtown News of Interest
These Scoops are excerpts from articles published in local newspapers and other sources that may be of interest to Newtown area residents. Please click on the "From" link to access the full original article. Any opinions and "insights" appended to these article summaries are solely those of John Mack and do not represent the opinions of any other person or entity.
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