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Home Government Rye Park Closure Controversy in NY Times; Hearing Tuesday

Rye Park Closure Controversy in NY Times; Hearing Tuesday

Rye Marshlands w Sun in Clouds 105

(PHOTO: Rye Marshlands looking south towards Hen Island.)

The controversy to eliminate funding for Westchester Nature Centers – including Rye's Edith Read Sanctuary and Marshlands Conservancy (see earlier MyRye.com story) – found its way into The New York Times today, Monday, December 5, 2011.

The proposed cut by Westchester boss Rob Astorino is sure to be just one of the hot topics at the third and final Regional Public Hearing on the 2012 Budget tomorrow, Tuesday, December 6 at 7pm in the Board Of Legislators Chambers on the 8th Floor of the Michaelian Office Building in White Plains.

The story is "Plan to Close Westchester’s Nature Centers Meets Resistance" by Suzanne DeChillo:

"For many residents, the proposal [Atorino's to shutter the nature centers and layoff staff] has touched a nerve. While Westchester’s notoriously high taxes have driven some homeowners out of the county, the programs offered by the nature centers — hawk watches, seining demonstrations and summer camps — are the sorts of amenities that draw people to Westchester in the first place.

The plan to close the nature centers has inflamed parents in particular.

Many of those protesting the proposed cuts moved to Westchester from New York City when their children were born, in search of strong public education and green space — values that the nature centers embody.

“It’s the whole ‘last child in the woods’ thing,” said Jennifer Terranova, a mother of three boys, ages 3, 6 and 10. “Children these days have such a lack of connection to nature.”…

Supporters of the nature centers say that shutting the buildings will rob the public of a trove of records, artifacts, specimens and nature books.

They predict that vandalism, litter and invasive species will rise, especially at smaller preserves that do not have additional park staff on site…

On Tuesday, the county’s Board of Legislators will hold its third public hearing on the proposed budget. Mr. Astorino is a Republican, but the board is controlled by Democrats, who have a supermajority and could potentially override him."

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