PARK – (noun) An area of land, usually in a largely natural state, for the enjoyment of the public, having facilities for rest and recreation, often owned, set apart, and managed by a city, state, or nation. This definition of a Park is exactly what Oakwood Park is today.
On November 2nd, the residents of New Providence will vote on a referendum on whether or not New Providence should SELL Oakwood Park to Union County for $1 and in return ,Union County will destroy the Park and create a Sports Complex, complete with all turf fields and a 4,000 square foot field house.
I am a sports nut. I have children who play sports in town. My family will benefit greatly from a Sports Complex. I am also a local resident of the neighborhood surrounding Oakwood Park. My family already benefits greatly from the largely natural state of the Park. So do many of the families that don’t participate in sports. We have lots of fun at the Annual Fishing Derby and ice skate every winter on the frozen ponds. We play catch in the grass on a Sunday afternoon and fly kites on windy days. These are memories that will last a lifetime.
Building a sports complex in this residential neighborhood is a bad idea. Giving up ownership of our largest natural resource is a bad idea. I truly get why our sports teams want better facilities for our town. The cost of selling Oakwood Park to Union County is just too great a price to pay to accomplish that.
If the town had expended as much effort and resources it has on Oakwood Park the last four to five years to fix up all Parks and fields, we probably wouldn’t be here now, dividing a small town over a single Park and turf fields.
The Park is not only for the kids who play sports. It’s for all New Providence families. If the referendum ultimately passes, I beg the Mayor and Council to at least change the name to Oakwood Sports Complex since it will no longer fit the definition of a Park.
Please VOTE NO on the County Park referendum this November 2nd. It’s our town and it’s our PARK.