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Letter to the Editor: Bike park development disturbs wildlife refuge

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Dear editor,

I would like to offer an opinion on Geoff Pickle’s article concerning the proposed [Lone Pine] Bike Park in Southern Hills. [Editor’s note: “Bike park suit detracts from quality of place, workforce goals” by Geoff Pickle, published in the April 11 edition on the Opinion page.]

I do not live in Southern Hills, but in Galloway Village neighborhood, and I am a member of the Galloway Village Neighborhood Association. Both Southern Hills and Galloway Village neighborhoods are built around nature. We have both had to form neighborhood associations, and Southern Hills had to purchase property to preserve and protect the nature that is left.

Quality of Place director Mr. [Tim] Rosenbury, along with Forward SGF, have continually heard from “stakeholders” that the protection of trees and natural settings are a top priority.

The area that’s being developed for the bike park is a natural habitat for deer, turkey, fox and multiple other wildlife that are part of the Galloway Creek system that supports and allows a refuge for wildlife.

As to private investment and increased property values, just look a block south of the proposed bike park at The Hills development or the millions of dollars in new development south of Sequiota Park in Galloway Village.

Ozark Greenways, which I support, has developed the walk/bike trail along Galloway Creek; the Springfield-Greene County Park Board just doubled the size of Sequiota Park and has a BMX bike park next to Jim Ewing Park; Rails to Trails just received the title and transfer of the abandoned rail tracks along Galloway Creek and will develop trails to the city of Ozark. To say the only option if the bike park isn’t developed is to “play on Glenstone,” is not genuine.

April is when the world celebrates Earth Day and Arbor Day. Let’s celebrate and protect what God has given us and be the stewards of this place we call home.

—Charles M. Ewing, Springfield

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