Sunday, May 03, 2009

They paved paradise...

I know I don't write a lot on my's mostly about the pictures for me what can I say? But I do have something I would like to share with you. A letter I wrote in response to Silken Laumann's article Child's Play in April's Today's Parent (well worth reading by the way.)

This is the first time I have ever written a letter in response to an article like this so bear with me...

Hello to Ms Laumann and all those who support her through this website.

I recently read the article "Child's Play" in Today's Parent Magazine and just couldn't get it out of my head. You see, we moved to Beamsville, a small agricultural community in the midst of Niagara's Wine Country almost 2 years ago. Our home backs on to the centre of our community, the Lincoln County Fairgrounds which has been located there for over 150 years. The article really struck a chord as our community is in a battle with the town about this space. The property has been sold to a local developer who would like to build 470 dwellings. It is a sad day for us.

As I watched cars unload children, coolers, chairs and soccer equipment this morning I was deeply saddened. It would seem that they are going to pave our paradise and put up an apartment building? Well 3 or 4 in fact along with a myriad of stacked town houses, and detached homes. As we work in our garden we hear children and their parents cheering on the games, you see there is a whole tournament going on right there in the centre of our town. It is a little quieter in the winter but the fairgrounds are home to our town's arena so there is a constant flow of traffic. Our local schools walk to the arena to go skating at least 4 times over the winter, we walk to all of our childrens' soccer games in the summer, people run their dogs, play baseball and simply meet there. Not only is this a local meeting place for sports but it is also the home of the Strawberry Festival and the Lincoln County Fair.

There are people in our community that are working together to try to stop this development and create a space that would be even more functional. They would like to see a community centre, a new library, a bigger arena and maybe even a historical museum to commemorate the town and the space. We believe this would be wonderful but it takes a lot of momentum and support...

I do not know all of the bits and peices about it...mostly just that the cheers of the summer and the commardery of the winter may soon end. They will relocate to the outskirts of town so we will all have to drive and it will no longer be accessible to our children, our teens, ourselves.

I know it's a lot to ask but boy would it ever be amazing if we could have a spirit and a voice like yours supporting us. Supporting our community and its dreams. That would be something.

Thank you for sharing your thoughts on Community Spaces and the wonder of Child's Play. It meant a lot to my husband and I.

Heather Habgood
5059 King St., PO Box 618
Beamsville, ON
L0R 1B0

We can all dream right? Ours is that the Fairgrounds remains an open space, a community space not just for us but for generations to come.


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