West Street Greenspace Preservation Coalition (WSGPC) Logo

Newly Elected Park Board to meet Thursday May 10th

The preservation of the Ponds is slowly being dragged into the ongoing intergovernmental debate regarding the Caroline Martin Mitchell land with serious potential downside. The purchase of the property, called the "biggest no-brainer in the history of modern Naperville" by a Park District candidate is being co-mingled with other separate issues in the same fashion that a legislator tacks on unrelated items to a bill so as to doom it to failure. The Ponds, unspoiled natural waterways should be united to create a large park for the benifit of the entire Naperville Commuinty.

Some of the obstacles in the current dsabate surrounding the Ponds include the special consultant looking into changes of land use along West St. and in Knoch Park. The special consultant has been interviewing selective players in the Caroline Martin Mitchell debate including the City, Park District, the leadership of the Sportsman's Club on April 17th, as well as District 203 which is driving the entire discussion. The WSGPC received a letter stating that we will not be interviewed, despite being one of only a handful of stakeholders that actually submitted a response to the City last December (5 of the 11 stakeholders either were not contacted or opted not to make public statements).

     According to Park District Commisioner Charlie Brown, the idea of buying the Ponds is being included in the Caroline Martin Mitchell discussions (Darlene Senger acknowledges this as well in a published report prior to the recent election). The current push to buy the Ponds still includes the notion of turning them into garden plots, eliminating the current plots so that the tennis courts/ ball fields lost due to the cemetery taking back land and District 203 closing Hillside could be relocated to the current plots. Three major problems with this include the net loss of West St. open space (the ponds are smaller than the current garden plots), the need to cut down the beautiful mature trees at the Ponds to make the area suitable for garden plots, and the very real potential that changing the land use at the current plots will include buildings whose users would object to the activity at Sportsman's Park.  

     In the middle of a two year long re-zoning debate, the WSGPC was among the first to advocate the preservation of the Ponds as a park, the highest and best possible land use at that location. We do not beleive that using this land for garden plots would maximize the value of the Hobson West Ponds to the community.