Fabio Costante Windsor

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Monday, June 18, 2012

West-End Parks

Friends,

Please see an email below that I received this morning from a west-end resident who lives on Campbell Ave. 

"Hello Fabio,

Please share this with all of your readers:

What "tough times" are they referring to??? With the new bridge announcement last Friday, I thought everyone has been trumpeting about the impending "boom times", or am I missing something?

This parks issue is a moving target--first, they claim that we cannot afford to bring these parks into compliance with an accessibility law that is not yet in force. Then they call this "surplus" parkland, pointing to the 2010 OMBI report (attached) that indicates Windsor is above the median in the measurement "All parkland in municipality as a percent of total area of municipality" (Fig.17.1). Please note, however, that we are actually below the median respecting how much parkland is available per resident: Fig. 17.2 "Hectares of maintained and natural parkland per 100,000 population".

Now we seem focussed on our parkland operating costs ($68 per capita), which are 45 % higher than the median -$47 per capita. I expect that this difference can be accounted for in the very high percentage of what the report calls "high profile parks" (Fig. 17.4). At 39% of our maintained parkland, we have the highest ratio of "high profile" parkland of any of the communities listed--85% higher than the median of 21.1%. These properties, of course, cost a great deal more to maintain than other parkland.

Before one single park is put "on the chopping block", I think we need to look hard at how selling each property will in fact effect this budget. I doubt that we will be selling off the "high profile" /costly to maintain properties, so any savings to the maintenance budget for most properties would likely be minimal, unless we are going to sell a great many of them.

This drive to eliminate neighbourhood parks seems short-sighted in the extreme. A recent report by the medical Journal the Lancet (see attached article), clearly demonstrates the relationship between green space and our health. Instead of eliminating parks because council considers them "underutilized", perhaps we should be considering how to encourage the use of these green spaces within our community.

The comments that our community is aging and the parks are no longer needed will be self-fulfilling. The closure of grade schools in the West end is now leading to the closure of a high school (no feeder school in the area) and the west end community is not attractive to young families. The loss of local recreational facilities and parks will further kill our neighbourhoods.

Please make your voice heard on this issue and connect with City Council requesting more public input to this critical issue."
 
Source:  West-End Resident

If you would ilke a copy of the mentioned report and article, please send me an email and I will send them to you accordingly.

5 comments:

  1. Very Well Said and Point Well Taken! City council needs to take their short-sighted blinders off and put their long-sighted spectacles on for this one!

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  2. People in the west end are losing out big time - pools, community centres and now your green space.

    It is a tough battle with this mayor and council but stand up now and fight for your parks and playground equipment. Organize and e-mail and protest if you have to.

    You have lost so much already don't go down again without standing up first.

    If you don't fight now it will be an even deeper hole to eventually try and dig out from.

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  3. They are foreclosing the future to save a few bucks. Whether it be closing alleys or selling parks they have a policy of shutting public spaces.We need to pound in some " not for sale" signs

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  4. Ok let me get this straight...they CAN'T affort the operating/upkeep costs of our small neighborhood parks but they CAN affort the operating/upkeep for the 300+ acres of parkland their building at the Windsor/Essex Parkway? Wonder how much were saving on that?(sarcasm!!!)
    Doesn't seem right!!!

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  5. Let's see Blocks and Blocks of boarded up homes; School Closures, , Community Centre Closures, Pool Closures and now Park Sales all concentrated in the very underserviced West Side of Windsor! And so while this Council Trumpets a new Bridge over and above this this progressive urban blight: they tell out of the other side of the necks that The Sandwich Town area is a Heritage based Tourist Destination - fittling so for this future Ghost Town! That should work really well their current Ghosts Stories tour of Sandwich (and Amherstburg)~

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