Thursday, August 5, 2010

Public Input Needed for New Eco Park in West Ward: Aug. 11th

One of 50 proposed locations near the escarpment for a piece of the new eco park being planned for the West Ward.


Posted by: Noel Jones


In a Morning Call article from last week, Michael Duck draws a rough outline of a plan proposed by the West Ward Neighborhood Partnership to design a new eco park project in the West Ward. The WWNP is paying for a study--which includes input from neighborhood residents--and hopes to draw up a viable and meaningful plan for the project that will connect residents of the southern half of the West Ward, with the river below, as well as the West Ward residents who live in "the flats" who have always been cut-off geographically from the rest of the neighborhood.


Below is a message from Esther Guzman, Manager of the West Ward Neighborhood Partnership:



We will have a presentation by the staff from Simone Collins Landscape Architecture firm regarding the Feasibility Study for a proposed Urban Ecologic Park. In this meeting they will introduce the project, seek information from owners/residents and provoke public discussions of how the project area could be improved in the future.

The meeting will be held at the Easton Community Center at  901 Washington St. Easton PA 18042 at 7:00 PM

Please forward this email to other residents and/or interested parties.  Thanks!!

Esther Y Guzman
Program Manager
West Ward Partnership Program
668 Northampton St.
Easton PA 18042
(610 515-0891

16 comments:

Anonymous said...

when is the meeting?

noel jones said...

7:00pm per Esther's note.

Anonymous said...

no, what date??????? there is no DATE and I would like to atrtend if available. Thanks.

Fia said...

Wednesday, August 11 at 7:00 p.m. at the Easton Area Community Center (St. Anthony's) located on the corner of South 9th and Washington Streets

noel jones said...

The date is in the title "Public Input Needed for New Eco Park in West Ward: Aug. 11th"

Anonymous said...

Wow, I must be blind. I was looking for it in the article. Thanks.

noel jones said...

No problema--I hope lots of neighbors can make it out.

AprilDiana said...

I am intrigued there are 50 proposed locations! Can you post a list or give a sense of where they are. I imagine they all meet a similar type of criteria in order to be selected? Any sense on what the criteria for selection may be?

noel jones said...

I don't know, other than it sounds like most of the properties are along the escarpment. I'm hoping that they will release a list of properties at the meeting.

Nikkita said...

I'm going to definitely try to make it. Should be interesting!

noel jones said...

Me too--see you there!

Anonymous said...

Sal Panto says:

I arrived at the Saints after City Council at 7:28 and no one was there. Did the meeting occur?

noel jones said...

Mayor Panto--by "the Saints" do you mean the Easton Area Community Center that used to be St. Anthony's? if so, you should have seen the group--Sandra Vulcano was there, as well as Becky Bradley and Esther from WWNP--aside from that it was all residents--among them, three of our new Dem precinct captains: Carinne Buzutto, Nikkita Frazier and Steve White. Neighbors of Easton and The West Word were also represented. it was a good initial brainstorming meeting. concerns about eminent domain property acquisition and issues with the train tracks came up, along with a lot of great ideas for community activity and economic development in the flats that wouldn't disrupt the absorption of the flood plain or create scenarios that would be expensive to clean up for repair in a flood. some ideas were:

a baseball field, a skate park, and/or other park space for youth, dog parks, bike trails, community gardens & urban farming, boat launches, small concessionaires that could cater to park goers with snacks and beverages, or fishing licenses/tackle/bait, outdoor performance space w/bandshell, and historical markers to pay homage to the various historical layers of architecture, terrain and usage.

as for the escarpment itself, ideas thrown out there were:

walking paths w/occasional picnic tables on the way down so that people can rest (especially going up) and enjoy the view, or have a picnic half way down, a vineyard, labeled tree species along the path so that parents can learn with their children about different trees as they walk, and solar panels built into the hill to harvest renewable energy for the city.

one large variable (aside from funding) for this project to keep in mind is that the architect acknowledged that they have no idea as to the geological make-up of the escarpment, as there are soft layers from years of fill on the surface, so there would need to be both soil testing and a geotech study needed to determine how stable the escarpment is, and how possible carving (or building) into it will be, i.e., to create picnic areas, or build businesses into the base above the floodplain...

the purpose of the meeting seemed to be to brainstorm several options based on various contingencies, i.e., whether or not the train tracks will be active, in which case the project will be more expensive due to the need to build an overhead walkway to connect the trail down the escarpment before and after the tracks. another concern was acquiring properties in the flats--one resident expressed dismay that no one from the flats was part of the meeting. Esther Guzman detailed the ways in which the meeting had been advertised, including the newspaper, this blog, and flyers she had distributed to the residents' homes herself that day. She said the next step will be to direct mail the details of this meeting and the date/time and location of the next meeting to all the residents in the flats, so that they know ahead of time.

all in all there were about 12 residents at the meeting (none from the flats)--hopefully more residents will come to the next meeting, which is slated for Sept. 8th--mark your calendars, everyone!

noel jones said...
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noel jones said...
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noel jones said...

sorry for the addition comments/deletes--i initially got an error message when i tried to post the comment, saying the post was too long, so i broke it into two, and then it printed all three, so i deleted the additional two...weird...