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Re: SG-W:/ Re: Great Counties have great parks

I've been wondering what the public in general had in mind in voting for the
parks acquisition millage in Ann Arbor.  On the one hand we have a large
number of natural areas that should be protected.  On the other hand we will
likely have more development and will presumably want more "programmed"

This is part of a larger debate, of course.  When we set aside natural areas
or even farmland as parks, did we do so for the benefit of wildlife, or for
people to enjoy that wildlife?  Are we setting aside land for habitat and
species preservation, or to allow future generations to hike through them to
appreciate how the world once was?  These are devisive, almost religious,
questions that are usually better left unasked.

My own response to the question at hand is that programmed parkland should
be heavily programmed, even congested, so that non-programmed parkland can
be as protected as possible.  We do need soccer fields, just as we need
housing and roads.  But just as with the housing and roads, a new soccer
field is only justified if it will be thoroughly utilized, and is deemed a
public good.  A field that is used for only 4 hours a day for only 4 months
of the year may be just another form of sprawl.

Ken Clark

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