A citizen who spoke this evening to the Parks Commission shares her thoughts: here is the impression that I get from talking to Michael Black ahead of time (before the commission meeting 11/27). He does not think that this issue is worth the money that Parks and Rec. would need to spend to buy the portion of the property in question from Mary Chilton, because, as he told me “There are only 5 parking places there”, so how many people could actually use that trail? I think that now, everyone who was collecting signatures on petitions for keeping this access should bring those down to the Grove, (make copies of them first), where the Parks Department has one of their offices. Leave them for Susan, the executive secretary, and ask that she send them to the Parks Commissioners and to the Parks Director. Also, let’s put out on social media asking people who have used that trail over the years to contact Michael Black (email@example.com) Tell Mr. Black that many more than 5 or 10 people use that trail weekly and have used it over many years. Tell your stories to him. He needs to know how important this parking area is for Ashland citizens. Also send comments to the Parks Commissioners –
Ask them to use the Restaurant tax revenue to purchase the property. Those tax dollars are for the purchase of property to be used by the parks department.
ACTION IS NEEDED NOW!
Below are some talking points that you might want to include in your emails —-
Points to Consider: Grandview Trail Access
- Numerous Ashland residents have had access to the Grandview Trail over decades of time before the current owner bought the property.
- There is potential data about the much-reduced use of the trail since the “Authorized Vehicles Only” signs went up, just by asking the folks who empty the trash cans along the trail,
- As I noted, at the beginning of this issue, John Darling met and interviewed 10 people along the trail within a half hour around noon on a Thursday. That is an example of how many people regularly were using the trail.
- There are very few accessible trails in town. The south end of this trail is accessed from a very steep part of Strawberry, and then another sloping walk down to the trail itself. At the north end, if parking is not available near the trail head, folks would have to park up on Skycrest and walk down Grandview, which is curvy, has very narrow shoulders and poor visibility. That access is dangerous, and impossible for anyone with mobility issues. Other possible trails include access to the TID off Pinecrest Terrace, where parking is on a downslope of the street. The only other level trail I know of is the Bear Creek Trail, down by the dog park. There is quite a long walk from the parking area to get out to the actual trail there, so most folks just park themselves at the dog park.
- The open space above the Grandview Trail is an area of great biodiversity, and is the only place in town where some endemic wildflowers grow in the Spring: Shooting Stars (Dodecatheon), Hound’s Tongue (Cyanoglossum) and Fritillaria all bloom from May through June in the open space area above the trail.
- There is great public interest in keeping access to this trail open. Over 2000 people follow the information about the Grandview Trail on the Nextdoor Neighborhood social media site.
- The area in questions that would need to be accessed by the city is about 10%-15% of the total acreage that belongs to Mary Chlton. This would include the sliver of the property that is below the ditch, the part above the road, and the parking area. Acquiring this property would allow the road itself to actually belong to the city, whereas the road bed now runs over private property.
- The owners of the house just contiguous to the parking area have no problem with folks parking there, and have put up signs to that effect.It is likely that the owner, Mary Chilton, would be open to a reasonable offer, now that the unpleasant interactions and adversarial conditions have abated.