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E-M:/ Jean Klock Park Public Comment Period till May 2

Enviro-Mich message from LuAnne Kozma <luanne_kozma@yahoo.com>

For Immediate Release: April 23, 2008


LuAnne Kozma, Defense of Place   


Jean Klock Park Supporters Encourage Public to Comment

to City of Benton Harbor Before May 2 Deadline


Next Steps up to City and State of Michigan


(Benton Harbor, Michigan) ? A public comment period
for evaluating the City of Benton Harbor's and the
Harbor Shores developer's proposed conversion of Jean
Klock Park for a privately-owned golf course is taking
place until May 2. Residents and park supporters
opposed to using the 91-year old park for golf are
urging the public to review the documents and provide
written comments to the City of Benton Harbor by the


The written proposal--fifteen documents in all?are
available officially only through the City of Benton
Harbor in hardcopy form, despite numerous citizen
requests to post the materials online and extend the
deadline for 60 more days.


As a service to the public, Friends of Jean Klock Park
has posted the documents electronically on the
www.savejeanklockpark.org website. The Friends and
Defense of Place strongly suggest writers send their
written comments to the City Manager by certified mail
and send copies to both the Michigan Department of
Natural Resources in Lansing and the National Park
Service in Omaha, Nebraska. Instructions and addresses
are provided on the website.


"One fact we want to make clear to the public and to
City officials is that the next decisions are resting
with the City of Benton Harbor, and if they approve
it, with the State of Michigan Department of Natural
Resources and Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund
Board," said LuAnne Kozma, Michigan Director of
Defense of Place, a park advocacy organization.
"Deflecting attention from the Granholm
administration's clear authority on this proposal is
another misleading tactic of the developers.
Apparently they don't think the public will read the
documents they've prepared very carefully, or the
state and federal laws, because this is spelled out in


Harbor Shores Community Redevelopment Incorporated and
city officials are stating that the public comments
and proposal go directly to the National Park Service.
LWCF park grants, however, are not direct contracts
between local units of government and the federal
agency, but with the Michigan Department of Natural
Resources. DNR Chief Rebecca Humphries, a Granholm
administration appointee, is the Governor's designated
state liaison office for the LWCF program.


The Land and Water Conservation Fund grants,
administered by the National Park Service, are
designed to protect parks in perpetuity and an
oversight program to guard against inappropriate
conversions to non-park uses. Approximately 2,000
Michigan parks and nearly 40,000 parks nationwide are
protected with Land and Water Conservation Fund's
stewardship clause of permanent protection forever.

#   #   #

LuAnne Kozma
Defense of Place

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