TOM DAVIES: The Verdict — Ambush at Lindenwood Park

A political lobotomy must be in the plans for the Fargo Park Board.

When I drove by Lindenwood Park last week, I noticed something was different but couldn’t put my finger on what it was. Thank goodness for concerned, interested neighbors! Apparently with no public discussion, the Fargo Park Board has been developing plans to close the park’s softball fields to allow for more RV lots.

First, let’s get one thing straight. They have already removed fencing around some fields at Lindenwood. That suggests more than “we’re considering it.” It looks more like “we’re doing it.” That begs the question: Who do these Park Board members, the ones who support eliminating the playing fields, think they are? Fargo’s parks have been there for a purpose. That purpose is to allow our citizens, young and old, to enjoy — at no direct cost to them — the beauty of nature, the excitement of games, and the enjoyment of family and group gatherings, among other things.

You cannot place a price on individual enjoyment in our parks. RV camping is fun, but it should never replace the true function of a park like Lindenwood. To expand services for the few (the RV campers) at the expense of our citizens is just plain wrong.

Taking down the fences around some playing fields, which just happen to be next to the existing RV camper sites, doesn’t seem like a coincidence if you apply a rational thought process. The excuse coming from the Park Board — “we’re just laying plans” — is political baloney.

The bike trails throughout the city also course through the parks. Men, women and children of all ages use them. Do you think the proposed change won’t affect them? Think again.

The board apparently believes that two new softball fields in North Fargo eliminate the need for two south Fargo fields. To that, I claim “foul!”

South Fargo has not shrunk; North Fargo has not grown. The people in the south deserve their parks. The RV folks can find places to park and enjoy life in other areas.

It makes one wonder if the fact that the park is in “old south Fargo” rather than in the newer plush “new south Fargo” is being factored in. In this political climate, you’d have to be brain dead to not recognize that “moneyed interests talk” and have much power here as elsewhere.

It’s a good thing the neighbors in the area are speaking up to sound the alarm. The board’s argument that there will be discussion about this at some time in the future apparently means it will be presented to the public after the parks plan has been completed. How about public input in creating the plan in the first place?

What is happening is obvious! Money talks. But in this context, people count, and the current plan to dumb down the parks must stop.

An aging population deserves park access just like the youngsters. You can participate, observe and enjoy the parks at any age. But you cannot replace the memories.

 So the Fargo Parks director has been quoted as saying the board has no interest in restoring the fields that were closed. That’s the thinking of a person who confuses his position with a dictator. That’s where the elected Park Board members come into play.
The Park Board is responsible to the people, and the people should let the board know that the director’s plans and comments do not comport with the best interests of the citizens of Fargo.

The Lindenwood neighbors have it right. This is already taking place. Without public voices to stop it, it will happen.

Your voice and your vote count. If you don’t speak up, you can’t complain. Make your voices heard, and put a stop to this ill-conceived idea. Amen.

2 thoughts on “TOM DAVIES: The Verdict — Ambush at Lindenwood Park”

  • LJ May 16, 2018 at 6:27 pm

    It is amazing that at least a century after it was created Lindenwood is still the largest park in the city and virtually the only real multi-use park. What it lacks in the eyes of the Park Board is a golf course and a hockey rink. These are the only two things the Park Board (aka the Fargo Golf and Hockey Association) thinks about or cares about. We need some real parks in this city not more little neighborhood postage stamp “recreation parks”. Name me another city of 100,000 people that has five publically owned and operated golf courses. How about some green space instead of another hockey arena. What kind of planning is being done for Fargo’s growth on the far south side? Nothing that the public knows anything about.

  • Toni May 16, 2018 at 10:27 pm

    I worked for the park district in Fargo and quit because Roger Gress is a puke to say the least! He refused to see me as a maitenance and mowing supervisor because Im female. He and the rest of the district as well as the rest of the boards in Fargo do and will continue to do as they dam well please,regardless of public opinion,voting things down ect.
    It happened with the 12 ave. n bridge and the Fargodome as a couple examples. Even if they could make more RV space,it shouldnt be done at the cost of their patrons. There is ample space at Trollwood to add several campsites near a river,out of the way and save our ball diamonds,even put basketball back in! But good luck with that!


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