Re: Kevin’s Initial Comments
Wetlands Restoration. It is my understanding that DGIF will have oversight of approximately 85 acres for the purpose of wetlands conservation. My comments would not be of any significance with regard to how to proceed with that process.
Berm Removal. I have heard that others oppose this. Kevin’s remarks make sense to me. I would like to know the reason(s) why others prefer to keep them in place.
ADA Accessibility. In conversation with Sharon Godfrey, recently tasked with oversight of the Lynnhaven Boat Launch and Beach Facility, we discussed the fact that the LBR (1) has ADA accessibility in place (2) is in possession of a beach wheelchair which would function quite well on soft trails (3) the LBR abuts the PHP acreage.
It would seem to me that it would be desirable to utilize the amenities of LBR to service the PHP property. First, for the ADA factor. Second, since there are trash receptacles there, it could be argued that a “Pack in/Pack out” policy, like the one at First Landing State Park, could be employed. This would reduce the need for maintenance of scattered receptacles, although realistically, I expect some would be needed.
I am sure that when CBF comes up with their detailed site plan, they will also incorporate ADA features.
Canoe and Kayak Launch. Over the years, I have heard several complaints that the existing launch at LBR conflicts with the launch of motorized vessels. If indeed the LBR function was joined with that of PHP, the canoes and kayaks could access somewhere other than Crab Creek. In any case, the presentation on April 23, 2012, carried a map which indicated that CBF also plans a launch area for non-motorized vessels, in addition to the pier for their educational mission. Why could not this be a shared amenity? I agree with Kevin that the less intrusion, the better.
Which brings me to another point brought up in the Bayfront Advisory Committee meeting on May 17, 2012. Echoing Mr. Norris’ concern that we could end up “loving the place to death,” Chairman Kal Kassir noted that too much traffic could be detrimental to the primary goal of conservation. That would be foot traffic, boaters and fishermen. Whatever the City officials decide, I hope they keep that risk first and foremost in their minds.
This property has been abused for decades. Nature is a great healer, albeit a slow one. I am confident that we have experts on board who are wise enough to know when to intervene in repairing the degradation, without getting in the way of the natural order of things. My vision of perfection for PHP is maritime forest, marsh and weeds, with a bordering trail on some of the perimeter.
Restrictions to Access. Many, if not all City parks close at sundown, for reasons of public safety, no doubt. It would be a great shame to do so at PHP, but obviously some concessions must be made. Could it be closed at dusk during critical phases of fish, fowl and wildlife development, and open at others? How would the number of visitors be controlled to prevent disruption to habitat?