Volume 14, Issue 16 ~ April 20 - April 26, 2006

Letters to the Editor

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Anne Arundel Needs Parks for People, Not Horses

Dear Bay Weekly:

Some Anne Arundel candidates want us to acquiesce in putting the state’s horse park or Fort Meade’s golf course on the U.S. Naval Academy Dairy Farm because the alternatives are worse. Some candidates may be in cahoots with the businesses promoting those worse alternatives. These candidates want us to think that leaving the Dairy Farm alone is not an option. But it is.

Another good option is preserving the 200 to 300 acres near the dairy buildings as the Dairy Farm and the 557 to 657 outer acres as a West County Regional Park, a people park.

The reduced-acreage Dairy Farm would be conveyed by the Navy to the Maryland Environmental Trust, the people park to the county and Compass Pointe Golf Club to Fort Meade.

The horse park is a bad idea. It is much more intense land use than the Dairy Farm and Regional Park and would endanger Jabez Branch, a rare breeding ground for brook trout.

Nationwide, horse parks often fail and become white elephants. The county has just had to assume management and costs of Compass Pointe Golf Club. It is in no mood for another folly.

Even were the horse park to succeed, the county would have to spend a lot improving nearby roads with money that could go to other road projects and to schools.

Why not send the horse park to Cecil County, which actually wants it and has more buffer land to put around it? Most Anne Arundelians see the horse park as the latest chapter in that awful Maryland saga, Dumping on Anne Arundel. Earlier chapters were titled “Prisons,” “Nuclear and Toxic Waste Dumps,” “Asphalt Rendering Plants,” “Oil Refineries,” “BG&E,” “Coal Piers,” “The Block (relocated from Baltimore),” “Incinerators” and “NASCAR Track.”

—James A. Hoage, Severna Park

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