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Letter: DeKalb’s Kiwanis Park is an irreplaceable asset

Published: Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2012 5:30 a.m. CDT

To the Editor:

This letter is in regard to the school board voting on a land swap giving up Kiwanis Park on Fairview Drive for an undeveloped property around the high school. Here is some food for thought from people who have lived on Fairview Drive for 40-plus years: We have seen this property develop from a cornfield to the park that it is today.

This property is more than soccer fields. We see parents bringing their families out to run and play, people walking the new path, people walking their dogs, kids playing baseball and football, picnics under the shelter, wildlife living in the woods – yes, deer, hawks and great horned owls live there – cross country runners, joggers, kites and model airplanes being flown, drum and bugle corps bands practicing, and the list goes on.

There is a 94-year-old man who walks and rides his bike on the path safely. In the winter, people find it a safe place to cross country ski. These activities are above and beyond soccer. As for soccer, there are people coming from Northern Illinois University camps, all of the area schools, neighborhood teams and numerous people from out of town coming for AYSO. Bottom line is that hundreds of people, young and old, use Kiwanis Park for a variety of activities. People consider this area a safe place for family activities.

Kiwanis Park is a DeKalb treasure. DeKalb does not need the undeveloped land by the high school. DeKalb does need Kiwanis Park. There is no other. It cannot be replaced.

What are the motives of the person you are doing this trade with? What kind of recommendations do you have from people who have had previous dealings with him, or don’t you care? His intent, as we understand it, is to build low-cost housing. High-cost, low-cost housing can be built on any piece of property in any part of town. You don’t need to destroy something that can never be replaced.

DeKalb is not lacking for housing, but it is lacking for green space.

Do you really want this to be your legacy as a school board member? Don’t sell your city out. Vote no.

Phyllis Franzene

DeKalb

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