To the Editor:

In violation of the governor's executive order to avoid public gatherings, the Linden Board of Education held a public hearing at 6 pm on Thursday, March 26, 2020, in the Linden High School auditorium.  The purpose of this hearing was to propose the disposition of Green Acres Funded parkland, in order to facilitate building a second Linden High School gymnasium.

There was almost no one there from the public, because A: no one knew about it and B: the meeting was in violation of governor's executive order to avoid public gatherings during the Corona pandemic.  Major League Baseball, the Olympics, the court system, you name it, everything is on hold.  Yet the Linden BOE went ahead with a “public” meeting.  This project should not be considered, much less approved, until after a real public meeting has been held.

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In spite of the above, on April 21 the Linden City Council passed a resolution supporting this project, which would remove a portion of Wilson Park, including four (4) eighty year old oak trees.  The average lifespan of an oak tree is 200 years.  These trees were planted circa 1939, and are approximately 81 years old.  They are not even middle-aged, as many oaks live 300 to 500 years.

The open space provided by parks is precious.  You can't make it. You can't buy it.  And when it's gone, it's gone forever. If this project is necessary, Linden should come up with a plan which does not include the loss of park land, and spares the four eighty year old oak trees.

Details of the proposed Wilson Park encroachment:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1YzQ61ldtbJSrdc9GuPWiPPiuO62ORP5a/view?usp=sharing

Ronald Martins, Linden NJ