Opinion

LETTER: Let’s Listen to Our Youth, Preserve the Reservation & Stop Zoo Development

Dear Editor:

Re: The Turtle Back Zoo Wants to get Bigger. These Teens are Fighting It (Mar 3, 2020), NJ.com.

I remember seeing a map of NYC’s Central Park depicting all of the development ideas for the Park’s 843 acres since its creation; there were lots of things to do, but there was no more park, no open spaces, few trees. This is my concern regarding the proposed—and ongoing—development of the South Mountain Reservation through the creation of an amphitheater and an expanded zoo. The Reservation is a respite in one of the most densely crowded areas in the United States. Its trails, picnic grounds, ponds and fields provide a much-needed space for residents to experience and connect with a natural setting. It also seems antithetical to destroy the habitat of indigenous creatures to bring in non-indigenous animals. We have a beautiful zoo, playground, boating and picnic area already. Let’s listen to our concerned youth: we should enjoy what we have and preserve the gem that is the South Mountain Reservation.

Lori Heninger

Blairstown, NJ

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