A synopsis of BCNS involvement at the April 4 public meeting on the City’s Open Space and Recreation plan for 2023 to 2030. Following a presentation on the City’s Plan, attendees were asked to respond to these questions:
What surprised you about the 2023 plan?
S. Smoller, BCNS – I was surprised to find a voice emphasizing climate resiliency. I jumped up and cheered when I read about plans for a Sustainability Committee and hiring a Sustainability Coordinator! And, how do we get PMLP involved with the Sustainability effort?
What is missing from the 2023 plan?
S. Smoller, BCNS – I live in West Peabody but over the past two years I have fallen in love with the East End. There’s nothing in the plan about the Waters River. It’s too bad there are two gas-and-oil burning peaker plants there now. But, they won’t be there on City-owned land forever. One of the plants is slated to close in 2026. The second plant will be closed eventually as burning fossil fuels becomes more regulated. What is the plan for that space? – especially in a neighorhood with two proposed housing developments, a proposed charter middle school and development of a former Superfund site. There’s no public access to the Waters River now. The Danvers Open Space plan also highlighted increasing the access and use of the Waters River.
Let’s focus on the Waters River the way we have given attention to the North River. Lastly, the river is surrounded on both sides by Environmental Justice areas. As we move forward, how are we going to insure that these neighborhoods are not burdened further? We need a climate resiliency voice that reaches out to all the different city departments and helps us work together. Mayor, please hire a Sustainability Director.Draft Open Space Plan: