Tree nets spoiling Marysville
Never in local history does one remember seeing 80-foot tall park trees totally enclosed with nets. In Marysville's Washington Square Park, the elms and even a palm tree in the center of Marysville are all enclosed with netting to keep any birds from nesting.
A nesting bird could delay the destruction of the remaining trees and the building of a parking lot in the city park.
The Marysville City Council has shown every indication that — of the historic Washington Square Park — the town square of Marysville, is for sale.
On a 3-2 vote in April 2007, the council attempted to sell that portion of the park without completing an environmental impact report (EIR). A local group, Citizens to Preserve Marysville's Parks, filed a lawsuit to require the EIR. I am a member of this group.
A Yuba County Superior Court Judge ruled that the city of Marysville attempted to evade the requirements of the law and the EIR was prepared.
The EIR claimed that the park does not qualify as a historic site under the State of California Register of Historic Resources. At least four historians, including city historian Henry Delamere, claim that Washington Square Park does qualify as a historic site under California law.
In 1851, Washington Square Park was meant by the founders of Marysville to be the focal point or town square of Marysville. It is the largest, and the only octagon shaped original park in Marysville.
And 158 years after its creation, it is located at the intersection of state highways 20 and 70, one of the busiest intersections in Marysville. A past city council placed the city's American flag in the middle of Washington Square Park because it is the city town square.
Would San Francisco sell Union Square Park? Or would New York City sell Central Park? No, probably not. Only Marysville wants to sell its town square.
The EIR also failed to note that there are fewer acres of neighborhood park space in Marysville than the 31.8 acres recommended by the Marysville General Plan. Selling another park will further aggravate that neighborhood park shortage.
In 1998, the Marysville City Council attempted to sell Yuba Park but was stopped by a lawsuit.
The Marysville City Council must now decide whether it wants to sell a historic city park and further reduce its park acreage to the detriment of its citizens.
The Marysville City Council will likely meet on May 5 at 7 p.m. in the city council chambers to take testimony.
This is your opportunity to let the Marysville City Council hear that you do not want our city parks sold. Call me with your questions.
A-D columnist Dale Whitmore has been a wildlife biologist for 32 years. You can reach him at 519-0468, or at email@example.com.