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Remember: Suggestions: The Future of Lehigh Parkway (Part 2)

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Suggestions: The Future of Lehigh Parkway (Part 2)

Let me begin by offering what I consider to be a great potential future compromise.  The three issues I believe are considered most important by the city in the planning process of park renovations are:

1. Ability for use and access
2. Scenery
3. Ecological Concerns

Having said that, I am going to call the following area Site 1 and I am going to offer a plan of development that I would think fulfills all three of those considerations. Site One is located to the left of the new pedestrian bridge by the Road Runners House:
DSCN2518
This site is a long strip of mowed grass, buffeted by an asphalt road on the right and a stream-side path of compressed gravel on the left.  This site is heavily used both by walkers and fishermen.

My first idea regarding the future of this site is the complete elimination of the stream-side path from the edge of the pedestrian bridge to the parking lot.  Now, I realize by saying this that I am running the risk of violating the interests of people who are concerned with issues 1 and 2.  The compromise goes as follows.
The asphalt road maintains access and usability. It also provides stream vistas and given the availability of said vistas throughout the park, the loss would not be cataclysmic.

Now, onto part 2.  That area of grass is home to at least one active and running stream.  The water has been running across the gravel pathway for so long that it has eroded itself a channel. 
DSCN2520
Areas of standing water have expanded around two active electrical units.
DSCN2531 DSCN2532 DSCN2534 DSCN2536 DSCN2538 DSCN2541 DSCN2542
Cattails, an invasive wetland species have begun to grow here as have other plant species considered wetland species such as watercress.  The grass here is strikingly different and full of vetch and invasive ground ivy.  There are very little places in this stretch where one can step without sinking into water.

The ducks know what is up.
DSCN2519
This area should become an official “grow zone” immediately.  Without the lower path, a real wetland can develop here that, properly maintained would not be a bed of weeds but a beautiful area of vegetative growth analogous to the wetlands in Trexler Park and the area by The Fly Fisherman store on the other end of The Parkway.

I realize this provides an issue of access to the stream.  Where the water table remains below the surface of the ground, mowed access points should be created to preserve not only access but the contrasting views of vegetation that are spoken of so highly in regard to the parks. 

Assuming, at this point, that my suggestions have been implemented, I believe that what people will find would surprise them.  First, not only would access still exist but an entire new beauty would be developed in the Parkway.  This new area would serve as a great jumping off point for environmental education and I would go so far as to say it could be a learning lab.

This project would not change the Park in ways that would leave it unrecognizable.  It would serve to enhance beauty, create habitat and most importantly, serve to end severe ecological problems.

What would you think of such a plan? 

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5 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Andrew,
Are you going to tonight's council meeting?

April 21, 2010 at 7:18 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Andrew said, "This area should become an official “grow zone” immediately. Without the lower path, a real wetland can develop here that, properly maintained would not be a bed of weeds but a beautiful area of vegetative growth analogous to the wetlands in Trexler Park and the area by The Fly Fisherman store on the other end of The Parkway."

Andrew,
We're going to send you a century-old photo of this very spot that shows the original vegetation and plant life. The image substantiates your vision.

April 21, 2010 at 7:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Andrew,
Do you think you and your group could try to get rid of those electric transformer and meter you photographed for this blog? They've been in this area since the Lights in the Parkway first started more than 10 years ago. Now, that this small roadway has been permanently closed to public traffic, there is no use for them other than to remain eyesores.

April 21, 2010 at 8:14 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think you ment to say active spring, not stream ?

April 21, 2010 at 1:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great ideas. I think the EAC and city council should get behind you!

April 28, 2010 at 2:35 AM  

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