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Letters, March 1

Preserve Lincoln Park

I’m concerned about the future of Lincoln Park, located on the corner of Beach and Henry streets near SOU in Ashland.

My daughters learned to play basketball, ride bikes and skateboard on the basketball court. They play with friends (and make new ones!) on the playground while we visit with other parents. We fly kites, play fetch with our dogs, and enjoy the fireworks in the open field.

I’m grateful to have this open space close to home, especially during the pandemic when we have been more socially isolated.

From my professional perspective as a wildlife biologist for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and based on my experience working with youth in the outdoors for the past 30 years, simply sharing nature with children is one of the best ways to inspire the next generation of conservation leaders and foster a sense of stewardship for the land.

Regular contact with nature improves cognitive functioning, psychological and physical well-being, social interactions and academic performance: https://www.childrenandnature.org/resources/category/benefits-of-nature/. Maintaining Lincoln Park as an open space for families would be a huge benefit to the health and well being of Ashland’s residents.

Please encourage the Ashland School District to partner with the Ashland Parks Commission to preserve Lincoln Park as an official city park by writing a letter to the Ashland School Board, signing our petition (see “Friends of Lincoln Park” Facebook page) and becoming a supporter at www.lincolnparkashland.org.

Let’s work together to secure the future of this park!

Jennifer Jones

Ashland

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