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baltimoresun.com

Rouse viewed Symphony Woods as our Central Park [Letter]

1:07 PM EDT, April 25, 2014

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Last Saturday, almost 100 people gathered in Symphony Woods to learn more about the two proposals for development there. The Coalition to Save Symphony Woods did a great job of helping us to understand them, their history, and their impact on the Woods and Columbia.

Most striking to us was the negative impact that three features of the Inner Arbor corporation's proposal will have if it is allowed to proceed.

The misnamed "Picnic Table" (only 18 inches off the ground) will cut across the Woods, making access through them difficult. In addition, it will present a danger to young children, who could easily crawl under the platform while their parents will find it almost impossible to crawl in after them.

The 800-foot long "Caterpillar" will cut off access to much of the Woods near Merriweather Post Pavilion.

The half mile of walkways basically lead nowhere and will cause stress to many trees as their roots are cut to construct the paths.

We were especially appalled to learn of the process by which CA abandoned its already approved Symphony Woods Park plan by waiving their usual rules to speed up the vote late one night and thereby shutting the people out of the decision.

Most distressing of all, however, was to learn that CA has signed over to a private corporation total control of the Woods. Control that extended to a demand by the Inner Arbor Corp. for the Coalition to Save Symphony Woods to pay for a license to gather in the Woods. That land was set aside by Jim Rouse to be Columbia's "Central Park". It is our land, not a corporation's!

Jerry and Janis Cripe

Columbia