Columns/Opinion, Letters to the Editor

Park and rec facilities must be accessible

Denny Poluga, Morgantown
For some children their summer vacation includes a trip to Europe. For others it’s a week at Virginia Beach, the Outer Banks or Myrtle Beach. But for many their best summer option is a season pass at one of our community pools.

A few years ago I drove past an elementary school in Coeur D’Alene, Idaho. The front of the school was occupied by what must have been 200 bicycles.
There are few bikes in front of any school or in any park in Monongalia County. Our children can’t safely walk or bike to their school, the neighborhood pool or many of our parks. And Mylan Park is only accessible by car or Mountain Line bus.

There has been a great deal of discussion and hostility lately concerning recreation facilities in our community. What should we build, who should build them, where should they be located, who should pay for them, and who is using their influence improperly seem to be the main areas of concern.
To a child with limited access to our facilities these arguments are absurd. Children know that facilities that are not easily accessible don’t really exist.

Without a doubt the community needs improved and new facilities. But an agreement concerning recreation facilities will be hard to come by if people keep throwing gas on the fire.
So those of you who are the decision makers on recreation facilities take into consideration those children who want or need to walk or bike to the park or their school. Be the adult in the room, consider working towards a common good — the good being that child next door.