July 17 Trail Planning Meeting Notes Posted

25 07 2007

Notes from our July 17 Trail Planning Meeting have been posted on the Trail Planning page.

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2 responses

25 07 2007
Mick

So basically our Duluth greenspaces are being sold out from under our noses. Everyone OK with this?

27 07 2007
Del Erickson

Hey everyone. I’m a lifelong resident of the Duluth area…born and raised, but now live along the south shore in Wisconsin. When asked though, where i’m from while traveling as i have, my answer always is “Duluth”. It IS where I am from and the place that I love. These last few years, i have had the wonderful opportunity to travel in the U.S. and spend more than a vacations worth of time in many areas, mostly in the S.W. and bits and pieces in Colorado, Washington, Oregon and California most recently. As an avid outdoors lover, i have paid close attention to what has happened in the areas that i have visited due to uncontrolled growth. Its interesting how the input of the locals has largely been ignored when the strength of developers overpowers the will of the people. Money talks as they say. It seems to me that developers come into an area saying that they will do whats right for the environment and protect or replace the wild spaces compromised in their plans, and when given the go-ahead to do what they want to do, throw out any idea of doing “whats right”. We have all seen it, and can each give an example of it here in Duluth. The community that I am staying in now, and have spent some time in over the last several months is Prescott AZ, once the “cabin” town of Phoenix week enders, 100 miles to the north. My host has been here for about 10 years and friends living nearby, are locals. Prescott is not unlike Duluth in many ways, except for the wonderful body of water at our doorstep. Something that folks here lack for both recreational value and necessity . It has great hiking, biking and horseback riding opportunities, mostly multi-use. Off road users have their corridors. Prescott is a destination now for developers and retirees alike. Zoning is out or control or non existent. Growth is out of control. The once wonderful town of Prescott where people came out and enjoyed their community with one another, is almost gone. Trails are being fragmented or threatened by development. The big box retailers have bulldozed there parking lots into this fragile landscape with no regard for fitting into their open, for all to see, spaces. Plastic WallMart bags seem to be the State flower clinging to cacti, Manzanitas and the wonderfully pale green Palo Verde trees. My point to all of this is, that money be damed……growth is not always the answer to making a successful community. Sustainability, green spaces and affordable homes for everyone, all contribute to the good heath of a city or town. Condos that most of us cannot afford….do not. Everywhere that i have spent time in these last few years, are experiencing this phenomenon. The “residents” of many of these condos are from somewhere else and often times do not come and stay, or may come for short periods of time, contributing little to the community, short of taxes. I have talked personally to many of the people of certain towns that now cannot afford to live in those towns, and must commute many miles to their jobs, sometimes living three and four deep in a run down house, just to pay the rent. Owning is out of the question, even for those with a reasonable income. Duluth is a beautiful jewel. It cannot and must not be cut into hundreds of smaller and smaller pieces. The value is in its size as a whole, to be enjoyed and shared by all who come and see it, experience it and care for it within its sustainable boundaries for keeping clean water, clean air and clean living for all of us who love it.

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