Letter: Fence would block access to playground


Fence would block access to playground

Editor of the Reformer:

We learned from our neighbor Carly Reitsma that Green Street School is planning to install a continuous chain link fence around their playground, blocking the public walkway from Beech Street. We are concerned about this plan. This is a walkway that has been used by the community for decades. We use this walkway regularly as a path to visit our friends who live down the hill from us and to run errands in that part of town, as do many others in the neighborhood. It is the safest walkway for many kids and families from the surrounding neighborhoods to walk to and from school because Union Hill is so steep and doesn't have a sidewalk. Additionally that pathway provides access to the Green Street School playground to neighborhood families who enjoy it as a safe place to play. We are concerned that building this fence would effectively cut many families off from using the playground.

We understand that the purpose of the fence is to try to cut down on night time activity on the playground that results in vandalism, litter, etc., but we wonder if something else could be done to address this problem, working in partnership with the police, without building a fence that has such a negative impact on children and families living in the neighborhood. In fact, we believe that regular people walking through from Beech Street is one of the things that makes the playground less desirable as a hang out area. If people continue to hang out on the playground arriving from other directions (Green Street, Moore Court, climbing the fence, etc.) then the reduction of foot traffic by responsible citizens from Beech Street will likely increase vandalism and illegal activity because it turns the playground into a more isolated area.

Thank you for your attention to this matter, which impacts the lives of so many in our community.

Sheila & Lester Humphreys Brattleboro, Aug. 19


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