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Park Ridge Needs More Recreational Land

A Letter to the Editor. We're behind national averages. Please vote yes on the April 9 referendum for the park district to buy the Youth Campus land.


The opinions expressed in this Letter to the Editor are those of the writer. Patch merely serves as a platform for authors to convey their views. 

For anyone who knows me, they know I am passionate about our local parks and the tremendous benefit they offer to the entire community. I am a longtime resident with 40 years invested in Park Ridge.

I was a Park District employee through high school and college. Later, I was elected to the Park Board where I served for 14 years. I am a director of youth baseball and football.

So, I have seen firsthand how important a nice park can mean to a kid and his family. Parks are magical places where kids of all ages can experience the joys of just being alive. The parks are places where dreams are given birth and some dreams are fulfilled.

There is one problem in our town. We don't have enough open spaces for families to recreate and enjoy the outdoors. Park Ridge is way behind the national averages in open space acres per thousand residents. We even come up short when compared to our neighboring communities.

On April 9, this community will have a real chance to step up to the plate to vote and support the parks legacy by allowing the Park District to purchase the Youth Campus property. I urge those who appreciate what a new 11+ acre park could mean to all of us to vote yes. Sure, no one wants their taxes raised but some things are simply worth it. This is one occasion that makes perfect sense.

Gary Abezetian

Director, Park Ridge Baseball and Football

Patch welcomes submissions to Letters to the Editor; register at parkridge.patch.com/newsletters and send your letters to pam@patch.com. 

gemma January 18, 2013 at 07:36 PM
I completely appreciate Anita's comments about our property taxes, but in reality I probably won't really miss the $72 increase saving this land as park will cost. Although I wish it wasn't the case but that's about a tank of gas now a days. Anita you are very fortunate to live so close to 2 parks as there are numerous studies that prove that parks significantly add to property value, particularly in established land locked suburbs such as ours. So for a $72 increase in my property taxes if I can help add to the property value of my home and have a magnificent park to enjoy it seems like a very sound investment. I hope others will agree with me and take the time to look into the economic benefits of a large, quality park versus only reacting to a $72 property tax increase.
BMG Media Services January 18, 2013 at 08:15 PM
Anita and Gemma, thank you for commenting. To Anita's point that we have enough parks that is a real judgement call. I don't think so and neither does the National Parks and Recreation Association which shows the national average nearly twice of much open space per 1,000 residents as Park Ridge has. Many of our so-called "parks" are less than one acre each and have nothing more than one park bench. One "park" is just a median strip of a boulevard. Our town needs more open spaces. Generation after generation will enjoy the benefits if we do the right thing on April 9 and support the purchase.
MIKE January 19, 2013 at 02:47 AM
There's enough parks as far as I'm concerned.
Karen Bennett Burkum January 19, 2013 at 03:32 AM
More parks = better quality of living = higher property values. It's quantifiable, but I'm more moved by how Mr. Abezetian puts it -- parks are where some dreams are born! We need to look at the long-term, big picture and make some short-term $acrifices today.
BMG Media Services January 19, 2013 at 01:33 PM
The out-of-pocket cost here for the average Park Ridge homeowner is $72 per year based on the 2010 census showing the average house in town at around $450,000. That's a tank of gas or dinner for two. A reasonable investment in the future of the community as a way to improve the overall quality of life here. We all win.


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