During the run up to the recent local elections, much was said regarding the Town of Warwick’s commitment to preserving open space through the use of public funds to purchase land and development rights from various landowners.
This has indeed been accomplished.
The town has purchased development rights and several large plots of land over the past two or more decades.
Unfortunately, the purchase of land and development rights does not equal the “preservation” of that land.
The largest and perhaps saddest example of the challenges faced by our Town (and all of its citizens) is the extreme destruction of the town’s largest, passive use park – Cascade Lake Park.
When the land surrounding Cascade Lake was transitioned into a town park, our Department of Public Works, along with time and money donated by many businesses and Scouting troops, created a foot bridge, many lovely benches, a kiosk and barriers that were intended to stop the illegal use of the park by motorized vehicles.
Together the Town and volunteers made and maintained trails that could be easily used and followed by families, hikers, mountain bikers and dog walkers.
Over time vandals have worked hard to burn or destroy most of the benches, chop down trees and tear up most of the trails, turning them into giant mud puddles. (On a recent) weekend, one of the last remaining benches was intentionally destroyed by a full-size vehicle that left clear tire treads proving the source of the bench’s demise.
It is time for the good citizens of Warwick to once again rally to preserve our public lands, demand that the intentional destruction of those lands be addressed by law enforcement and volunteer their time to restore the beauty to this 504-acre, natural resource.
Anyone interested in helping with this endeavor should provide their contact information to the Town’s Department of Parks and Recreation or to Deborah A. Young at firstname.lastname@example.org.