Preserving Land (in Madison, Mamaroneck & Staten Island) in Hard Times
Voters in Madison, Connecticut, will go to the polls tomorrow to decide if the town should buy and protect the former Griswold Airport, which is next to Hammonassett State Park. Let's hope they say yes.
On Staten Island, a venerable Boy Scout Camp -- Pouch Camp -- might be put up for sale. Pouch Camp is at the heart of the Greenbelt, which was a major preservation cause in the late 1970s and early 1980s, when I was still living on Staten Island (in fact it was the first land preservation effort I worked on). If Pouch Camp were sold and developed, it would be a disaster for the Greenbelt. Mayor Bloomberg says the city doesn't have money to buy it but the Trust for Public Land seems to be involved. Wish them well.
Mamaroneck Village and Mamaroneck Town want to buy the Hampshire Country Club and operate it as a public golf course. The club has an important wetland system that drains into Long Island Sound. Here's what Town Supervisor Valerie O'Keefe says (it's one of the most sensible things a public official can say about land preservation):
"The stock market goes up and the stock market goes down," O'Keeffe said. "But you assume thousands upon thousands of people will take advantage of the open space. I don't think the economic situation would militate against acquiring open space."
(Follow me on Twitter: @tomandersen and @wlttomandersen)