The Reason Why

Erythronium oreganum
Don't it always seem to go, That you don't know what you've got 'till it's gone. Joni Mitchell

In recent years there have been suggestions that some of our parks and natural areas should be used for things like waste water treatment facilities, public buildings, entertainment facilities and other incompatible uses. We could lose parks and natural areas one by one, bit by bit, until little is left.

They paved paradise, And put up a parking lot.
Joni Mitchell

In 2014 the city tried to sell a neighborhood park (Washington Park) to be a parking lot. The deal was made behind closed doors and a price agreed upon with no public notice. The selling price was about 1/10 the real market value of the land. No one on city staff, the Mayor or the City Council questioned the low selling price. The buyer would have gotten a sweet deal and the citizens of Corvallis would have been cheated.

Importance of parks

A survey taken in 2012 about Corvallis parks showed that parks, natural areas and trails are very important to the residents of Corvallis.

The survey also revealed that residents use parks, trails and natural areas far more than other park facilities or services.

"A thing is right when it tends to preserve the integrity, stability and beauty of the biotic community. It is wrong when it tends otherwise." Aldo Leopold

In 2013 the city proposed converting Orleans Natural Area into a wastewater treatment facility. The riparian forest would have been destroyed and everything natural would have been eliminated.

Do not let selfish men or greedy interests skin your country of its beauty, its riches, or its romance. The world, the future, and your children shall judge you accordingly as you deal with this sacred trust. President Theodore Roosevelt

Playing in sand In 2014 the City Manager added a proposal to the city budget to sell "under utilized" parks to raise money. Who decides if your favorite park is "under utilized?" Parks that are little used today will be used more as the population grows.

The nation behaves well if it treats its natural resources as assets which it must turn over to the next generation increased, and not impaired, in value. Theodore Roosevelt

In 2000 the city proposed converting part of Bald Hill Natural Area into sports fields. Much of the natural area would also have been paved over for parking lots to support the sports complex.

More than 30 studies have shown that parks have a positive impact on nearby residential property value. Other things being equal, most people are willing to pay more for a home close to a nice park. The Trust for Public Land

If the city sells a park or natural area, or converts the land to another use, nearby property values will drop. This will have a significant impact upon the wealth of the neighborhood.

Communities exist for the health and enjoyment of those who live in them, not for the convenience of those who ... exploit their real estate for profit. Theodore Roszak, "Where the Wasteland Ends"
Arts Center

We have all seen the consequences of developers coming into Corvallis to buy up land large and small to cram in cheaply constructed houses and apartment boxes in order to extract as much wealth as possible from our town. How much would these people pay for Central Park or Bald Hill Natural Area? How would they use their wealth and political power to influence a decision to sell our public lands? Should the decision be left to just five City Counselors, or should all the citizens of Corvallis make these decisions?

To make democracy work, we must be a nation of participants, not simply observers. One who does not vote has no right to complain. Louis L'Amour