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Remember: You like poo-water?

Sunday, April 18, 2010

You like poo-water?

Let me ask you a question readers, if you go to the Parkway, to Cedar Beach, to Trout Creek Parkway, to Jordan Park and really take a look at what is going on around you, can you honestly say to me that fixing the horribly eroded creek banks that are actively felling healthy trees shouldn’t be a priority?  Shouldn’t native vegetation be allowed to grow to help deal with excess nitrogen runoff? The EPA thinks so, I linked to Federal guidelines for that very issue yesterday.

I am not on a fringe environmental soapbox here folks. I have seen the Lehigh County Conservation Maps rating our stream health (crappy) and our buffer presence (really crappy). I have done water samples in Cedar Creek and I know many others who have as well.  The test I ran at Cedar Creek came back with ridiculously high amounts of coliform bacteria presence and 7 other tests confirmed it. 

It was poo-water folks.

Realize, that is what we are talking about here:

Cedar Creek is becoming a nitrogen filled, oxygen barren, biomass empty, fish absent, channel of poo! 

Is that the idyllic park vision so often spoken of here in Allentown, you know, the one General Trexler saw in the distance, past the edges of his flat brimmed straw hat?

I don’t freaking think so. 

The places for people who want completely manicured vistas designed to look pretty are called gardens. 

The places in our parks, with running streams, are active ecosystems that we have endangered.

You want a future of poo-water and drainage ditch canals where streams once flowed?  Really?

I fully understand that any future rain garden won’t stop upstream runoff and the many sources of pollution outside the boundaries of the park.  I do know, that in whatever space of garden construction, a small difference will be made.  That difference, even if it is one butterfly, one bee, one snake, one trout is worth the work. It will help stem the development of a high quality low temperature stream into poo-water.

Drop the nostalgia act folks.  Envisioning a candy land of manicured parks where people frolic freely enjoying the distinctions between mowed grass and willow trees is a waste of time.  That time wasted, should be spent working to do whatever you can to help turn the tide of environmental ignorance that is widespread here in Allentown and begin the work to try and reverse years of ecological damage in our park system. Understand also, that our parks should have a contrast between open space and "grow zones". I am not advocating the entire re-naturalization of our parks. It is not wilderness, it is a park and people belong in them. Aesthetically, there will still be contrast and no beauty will be lost, only gained.

I would be the last person on this planet to say we should ignore beauty. In fact our lives depend on it.

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14 Comments:

Blogger Katie Bee said...

In your study did you find anything about fertilizer runoff from yards and landscaping? I know that it causes algae blooms and kills all the fish.

On the same note, when did the county start stocking the ponds and streams? Was that just to augment the fish supply at first, and now is the only fish supply? I know that my backyard is a very popular place for fishermen (I live along Jordan Creek), but aside from the first couple days of fishing season, I never see fish in there.

April 18, 2010 at 1:17 AM  
Blogger michael molovinsky said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

April 18, 2010 at 3:28 AM  
Blogger michael molovinsky said...

the little lehigh is still rated as a high quality cold water stream. frankly, this post is somewhat pretentious. you have a meeting with weitzel, get permission for your project, your rain garden, and become more less mute about everything else. will your rain garden cover as much area as weitzel is now paving with the new paths and playground? have you seen the plans for the asphalt path by the creek along martin luther drive? do you know the plans for the new paving in lehigh parkway? every group that should know better has made what they used to call a deal with the devil. wildlands stays quiet about the wells being dug at the headwaters in magunie for the bottling industry, but get a contract to plant a riparian buffer. Friends and EAC stay quiet about the asphalt and shenanigans on south mountain. now you're criticizing nostalgia and straw hats, suggesting the time to criticize is over and everyone should be constructive and help with your project.

April 18, 2010 at 3:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

blah hahahahaha at MM calling Andrew's post pretentious.

April 18, 2010 at 7:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Andrew,
If you help us get those boulders and stone removed from two rows of Parkway trees, we'll be loyal
followers forever!
And, Andrew, it actually looks like more stone and rocks have been added to the Academy Road treeline this week, even after you spoke with Weitzel.
We agree, if Weitzel said he knew nothing about this issue during your meeting, you needed to be respectful, but did he say he will correct this destruction?
Thank you for caring about our parks.

April 18, 2010 at 7:49 AM  
Blogger Andrew Kleiner said...

I haven't done a Cedar Beach post this week Michael because my camera broke. I'm not mute, nor have I been bought off.

And it isn't just my project, there is so much to be done. There are so many issues in the parks Michael, I can't even begin to list them all.

Check back tomorrow for a Cedar Beach Update, I rented a camera for my hike on South Mountain yesterday and made sure to get to CBP right after.

For the record, I held that hike on South Mountain to host a discussion about potential tree cutting there, and why it isn't a good idea. So, even when I am not posting about what you think I should be posting about, I'm still trying to do what I think needs doing.

April 18, 2010 at 9:09 AM  
Blogger michael molovinsky said...

andrew, as long as we are annoying each other, here's some more; i support your rain garden project (unless it's too large an area) but who is weitzel to approve it? i know he's the park director, but i think the lesson of cedar park is that he has too much authority and takes on too many decisions he might not be qualified to make. frankly, the park belongs to all the citizens of allentown, not just weitzel.

April 18, 2010 at 9:25 AM  
Blogger Andrew Kleiner said...

Michael,

I would fully support a Council resolution that would have any major alteration or project in the parks, (by parks or public works)voted on by Council after a public hearing.

I suppose what I am saying is, the amendment by Donovan and Schweyer regarding the Trail Plan expanding to everything and anything that changes what, (you are right about)are public lands.

I would gladly make up a powerpoint and go to City Council and explain this first rain garden. It might help me get help doing it!

April 18, 2010 at 9:29 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, lets have every department director take all their decisions to City Council for approval, that will surely improve local government efficiency.

April 18, 2010 at 12:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Andrew,
Would you tell us how to find that South Mountain entrance you mentioned in your walk? There are a few parks that call themselves South Mountain Park.
Glad you had a good time.

April 18, 2010 at 1:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would gladly make up a powerpoint and go to City Council and explain this first rain garden. It might help me get help doing it!

April 18, 2010 9:29 AM


This is a good idea.

April 18, 2010 at 1:14 PM  
Anonymous monkey momma said...

Mr. Kleiner -
I am getting caught up on your active blog. I can't help but feel that this post on "poo-water" might be directed at my previous comment, in the post before this, in which I declared that I like the expanse of uninterrupted grass at Cedar Beach.

Of course I do not like "poo water." You seem to be insinuating that anyone who disagrees with your proposed plan is, indeed, pro poo water. I am not pro-poo-water. Let's be clear. I am also not ignorant, and I frankly have my feelings a little hurt here, as it seems you think readers who enjoyed the manicured look of Cedar Beach are total environmental idiots.

I guess, as a reader and an Allentonian, I am throwing in the towel completely at seeing a Cedar Beach plan I can get behind and support. The pavement looks awful. The playground will probably be wonderful for the kids, but it will only add to the asphalt look of the place, as well as add to a financial burden the park imposes. The rose garden is forever changed and has lost its old charm completely. Now, we're talking about planting what WILL INDEED look like weeds (but don't worry, only us environmental idiots in our straw brimmed hats will call them that) all over the middle of the grassy expanse that was left after the cuts of the pavement installation.

Cedar Beach was a beautiful garden with vital natural elements. Now, that is permanently destroyed. Perhaps I have misunderstood your tone or the direction of this post, but it seems you have no room for dissent in your plans for the parks of Allentown. So, I respectfully withdraw from your discussion. By the time you and Weitzel are done with this park, it will be reduced to pavement, weeds and the playground area. I give up.

April 19, 2010 at 3:36 PM  
Blogger Andrew Kleiner said...

Monkey Momma,

Please allow me to clarify a few things. First, this post was primarily a reaction to the comment Molovinsky left the day before.

Second, I do not want to plant weeds. Black chokeberry, winterberry,and the like are regal plants that are certainly not weeds.

Third, I am very glad to have you as a reader and I meant to insult to you in this post.

Lastly, the compromise between the parks you want to see, the environment I wish to see focused on and the recreation that people desire needs proper achievement in future development.

Tomorrow, I will be posting about exactly that in regards to the Parkway.

I want you to be able to walk your dog in the park just as much as I want to see what are really severe ecological problems. Both situations can coexist. Cedar Beach could be mainly vast lawns, with a 25 foot buffer that had frequent mowed access points. A properly maintained buffer zone does not look like weeds.

Much more to come on this tomorrow but in the meantime, I apologize and it certainly did not mean this as an attack on you.

April 19, 2010 at 4:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"By the time you and Weitzel are done with this park, it will be reduced to pavement, weeds and the playground area. I give up."

Bravo MONKEY MOMMA!

The asphalt is indeed awful.

The City's transparency was always a disaster.

I will always remember the Mayor's Wife and her little email.

The financial burden has not even attempted to rear its ugly head (but, it will, rest assured).

The good news is, from my vantage point, Kleiner has a wonderful future ahead of him as a resume-building bureaucratic hack.

Kleiner has already proven his worth and, in the mind of some, has already been 'co-opted' and neutered by those who are TRULY in charge.

It would be too funny to see Kleiner working for Weitzel some day.

ROLF OELER

April 23, 2010 at 11:46 AM  

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