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    An open letter from The Common Ground at Rotary Park
    July 31, 2016 9:17 pm  
    An open letter from The Common Ground at Rotary Park

    The Common Ground at Rotary Park came into being when the horrific events on 9/11/2001 brought together a group of volunteers to provide a serene place for the community to relax and reflect.

    Thousands of people have enjoyed the performances, gardens and free programs for over a decade.  Throughout this time the community has been grateful, generous, and has frequently commented on the beauty of the gardens.  Thank you very much!

    We feel compelled to enumerate some of the challenges that we have faced during this time:

    • Numerous accounts of broken glass, shattered florescent bulbs, graffiti on many surfaces, irrigation hoses cut, Labyrinth sign destroyed twice, game tables damaged with bricks removed from the base, full garbage cans being turned over, skateboard damage to granite benches and pavilion posts, an engraved granite bench toppled and another granite bench was STOLEN!
    •  A tree, planted to honor a deceased husband was broken in half and uprooted.  Numerous shrubs and other plants were stomped upon, broken and/or ripped from the ground.
    •  Teenagers are gathering on the bench on the northwest side of the Labyrinth to smoke pot.  They have been observed more than once rolling a joint and passing it.
    • Most disturbing to report is what occurs on the northernmost area of the park.  After the installation of a beautiful Eagle Scout Project by Tim Cowan, one bench needed to be removed due to clear evidence and accounts of illicit drug usage and dealing there.  Parents should be aware of this activity. The number of alcohol and beer bottles that are picked up weekly is enormous. Also found there were a syringe, various drug paraphernalia, a live bullet and used condoms.
    • Most disgusting is stepping in human feces.  For several years an apparently homeless woman has been living in the park – she’s been awakened on Saturday mornings when we’ve arrived to garden.  Sleeping and eating are fine for me but when the garden beds become lavatories we need to draw a line.  Extreme pruning has been done to the trees and shrubs in the area to allow for better visual access.

    Have you ever wondered how we use donations we receive from sponsors and concertgoers?  We replace and repair the damage done.  We are fortunate that Active Irrigation donates all of their services, but a granite bench costs $2,000!  We have asked the Town of Islip and Suffolk County for better patrols, lighting and surveillance, but damages still occur.  Our last resort is to remove all trees and shrubs over three feet tall to allow for a clear view of the area.  Imagine what your downtown park would look like then!

    As a community we can treat our local park with respect while keeping a watchful eye on it as well. The fact that there are many more young people in the park playing the latest Pokémon GO game seems to be a positive activity.   Please help us keep the park safe and beautiful.

     

    With deep concern,

    Nancy Angermaier, The Purple Lady and The Common Ground Board of Directors

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