GloucesterTimes.com, Gloucester, MA

September 11, 2013

Letter: Stage Fort group grateful for grass roots support


Gloucester Daily Times

---- — To the editor:

We, the founding members of Friends of Stage Fort Park, Inc., George Roark, Susannah Wolfe and David Dow, wish to thank all of you who worked with us and encouraged us in our endeavor to protect Stage Fort Park.

Hundreds of you signed our petition, talked to your neighbors about the park, shared your concerns with your ward councilors, wrote letters to the editor and in general, vastly increased awareness of the park and its needs throughout the entire community.

It is through all of our efforts that the council has added 13 additional conditions for the 2013 Gran Prix of Gloucester cyclocross event. This was truly an effective grass roots effort arising from love and commitment to our park.

These new conditions are as follows:

1. No cycling on Half Moon Beach.

2. No cycling on the clear cut (run up) to the children’s playground area from the Lucy B. Davis pathway.

3. No cycling on the clear cut behind the Visitor’s Welcoming Center.

4. No cycling on grass area between the Betty Smith Garden and the Gloucester Garden Club garden.

5. A $5,000 non-interest bearing account to be held in escrow by the City Treasurer, to cover potential unrepaired areas. This was in lieu of a $10,000 surety bond condition.

6. No overnight tenting in the park.

7. Submission of the race course to the council before the approval of the permit.

8. Video tape of entire course 7 days prior to the event, to determine preconditions of the grounds.

9. Supervision by a group, consisting of the DPW, Ward Councilor, landscape contractor, Public Service Superintendent, and race representative, who will document the repairs needed and then review the repairs when completed.

10. Staking of repaired areas that require loam and seed.

11. Cap the numbers of entrants to 1,000 per day.

12. Pre-race listing of all activities that require the assistance of the DPW seven days prior to the event.

13. Race organizer must pay the city for any cost for city services related to the race course and adjacent areas of the park before, during, and after the race.

Friends of Stage Fort Park has an initial recommendation from the Community Preservation Committee, to improve the walking path to the left of the Visitor’s Center leading to Fort Conant, in the amount of $4,000. Presently it is in the Budget & Finance Committee for recommendation to the City Council.

We look forward to working with the administration and the City Council, promoting and improving Stage Fort Park in the future.

Once again thank you all.

DAVID DOW

Gloucester