Champion 9-7-2003

Letter to the Editor, Ann Arbor News,
dated 9/7/2003, by Karen Champion

In response to Judy McGovern's latest column concerning the Dicken Woods land purchase agreed to by the Parks Advisory Commission, Ms. McGovern seems to see an agenda which is very different from that of the passionate and dedicated residents of the Dicken neighborhood. The City did not "capitulate" to the Friends of Dicken Woods, but rather opened their ears to the citizens whose interests they serve. The impact on density, noise pollution, available green space, and watershed impact are just a few of the concerns of the intelligent and caring people in the Dicken neighborhood.

Ms. McGovern disparages value of this land with its unremarkable species of plants and animals. While the numerous birds, fox, deer, groundhogs, etc. that now inhabit this greenspace may seem mundane to adults, they provide much enjoyment and education for the children at Dicken Elementary adjacent to the property.

The land was once a farm, and the remnants of the farmstead and rock walls dot the area. Time and nature reclaimed the land with fast growing species, but part of the land's rehabilitation as a park could be to introduce more native species. The Friends of Dicken Woods have made a 10-year commitment to assist the City with the money and sweat required to make this happen.

I am proud of the vision of the Friends of Dicken Woods and the grassroots way that they have brought the citizen's viewpoint to the notice of the PAC and City Council.


Karen Champion, Ann Arbor