Castle Park Preservation Group meets Sunday, May 4 at 6:30 p.m. at Golden Link, invites everyone to attend.

    NIMBY (Not In My Backyard) is an acronym that has been tossed around in the community quite frequently in the past couple of weeks.       

    Currently, it has been a label for the group that is expressing concerns regarding the possible RV Park that may be developed in Castle Park.  This label places assumption that it is only members of the Sampson’s Addition that should be concerned about this debated topic.  

    I am writing this letter to emphasize the need to eliminate this perception.

    The people in our community need to realize that Castle Park/the Natural Play Space (NPS)/the Dog Park does not “belong” to the Sampson’s Addition.  It has always been and will forever be a COMMUNITY park and recreational space.  

    This is not a debate of “mine” or “yours,” “poor them” or “glad it’s not me.”          Regarding the planning of the Natural Play Space, it was always envisioned to serve as a “backyard” setting for the entire community.  

    Castle Park NPS was designed to encourage all ages to take a step outside, explore the trails, interact with nature, run freely in the green space, or simply enjoy the serenity that is a daily gift of the park.  Countless hours of planning, volunteering, and hard work have taken place to make this vision a reality.

    Crookston is a community that surrounding areas of Minnesota are seeking out in order to model their plans to make a NPS after our success!  

    Currently, there are still plans to enhance the space with a Splash Park and further additions to the play space.  

    The thought of the addition of an RV park breaks my heart.  The appeal of this beautiful green space will be forever tainted with this addition of a 60-70 unit RV park (and there is a difference between this and a quaint local campground), their vehicles, propane tanks, an additional building, etc.

    Though there is a proposition to make efforts to “hide” the RV Park, its existence will be undeniable.  The changes suggested will have a major impact on the safety and freedom that Castle Park currently possesses.  

    I have brought my own children, my childcare, youth groups with my FITkid classes through Community Education and Parks & Recreation, Castle Park education events, etc. on countless occasions to Castle Park. The CYC (Celebrate the Young Child) committee is hosting yet another awesome event on the grounds in May.      

    Castle Park is a site we always want to share with friends or family that are visiting (it’s right up there with Happy Joe’s and Widmans!)

    I know I am not alone when saying how much we value this natural treasure.  How fortunate to have it right here in our community – no need to travel!  However, after the proposed changes, my desire to bring any group of children to Castle Park will be significantly less.

    I could go on and on about the importance of sites such as these to encourage our kids today to GET OUTSIDE (which is not as easy as it used to be), or the countless benefits nature has on both young and old. HOWEVER, I am not trying to promote the USE of Castle Park, I am trying to promote the PRESERVATION of Castle Park in order for our children and our children’s children to reap the benefits that come with this amazing space!  

    In conclusion, I oppose the commercial development in Castle Park. I am proud to be a part of The Castle Park Preservation Group, a group of committed community (notice: Not just Sampson’s Addition) members who have come together with a common goal to PRESERVE Castle Park.  

    The community is invited to an informative meeting on SUNDAY, MAY 4 at 6:30 p.m at the Golden Link.  Crookston community members – I urge you to get informed by attending this Castle Park Preservation Group Meeting on Sunday and the upcoming City Council Meeting (TBA).

    Please join in the efforts to stand united as a community to PRESERVE Castle Park – EVERYONE’s Backyard!

    “The wonder of Nature is the treasure of America.  What we have in woods and forest, valley and stream, in the gorges and mountains and the hills, we must not destroy.  The precious legacy of preservation of beauty will be our gift to posterity.”  – Lyndon B. Johnson