Pleasure of a New Park - 27 East


Pleasure of a New Park

We are deeply grateful to all the voters who turned out for the school vote [“Marsden Street Purchase Proposition Fails by 75 Votes,”, May 16]. We’re not only happy for the outcome of Proposition 2 but also pleased that the school budget and tech reserve fund were approved.

There’s been a lot of talk about “going high and going low” and “misinformation,” all of which easily slips into name-calling. We want to emphasize here that neither side opposed the operating budget or tech fund. Although both sides have different visions of where some school funds should be spent, we all agree on the necessity of high-quality instruction, adequate teaching staff and good equipment.

Ultimately, our communal commitment to education keeps democracy ticking.

Pragmatically, our vision does not include Marsden Street becoming a McMansion subdivision. Moreover, there is some evidence of environmental problems, as described in the school’s H2M consultant report found on the school’s own website. There also is much oral history from longtime residents who testify to the debris dumped there over decades.

The land, despite this abuse, is in the process of healing itself. A biologist friend of mine said that, left alone, places will change and adapt, but they will work for a healthy balance. We see that now on Marsden land. Some people say the property no longer contains many native species but “only” invasive plants. But given the opportunity, these second-growth woods will become something beautiful, with an upper canopy and some meadowlands below.

We people can learn much from this piece of land. Concretely, with a minimum of intervention, people can walk and meet there; art and biology students can study the plethora of plants and document second-growth woods of Long Island; young friendships and love can grow in the shadow and sun of its green spaces. This place, as Marge Piercy, the poet, says, will grow for a long time, but the harvest can be soon, in the pleasure of a new park.

Let’s work together to build a coalition to realize this vision.

Leah and John Oppenheimer

Sag Harbor