To the Editor:
Sep. 12, 2018: Labor Day Weekend marked exactly one year since the inception of Save Scout Field, a grassroots effort whose goal is to prevent Westchester County politicians from taking over this venerable parkland and making it a limited-use, fenced-in soccer field exclusively for the use of Eastchester youth sports teams.
This bald-faced effort on the part of Eastchester politicians to steal a county park for a narrow, special-interest use threatens to ruin an irreplaceable public resource for all the residents of lower Westchester County.
On Saturday, September 8, Save Scout Field held a demonstration to further remind the public about the great concerns had over the proposed plan to privatize this field.
This plan, conceived by the previous Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino and others currently still in their elected positions, has been a bone of contention with hundreds of regular parkgoers. It is our understandable fear that razing the field, cutting down trees, erecting a fence and/or retaining wall, adding a small, penned-in dog run and expanding the parking lot will disrupt the field's natural beauty and tranquility and spoil the enjoyment of hundreds who have enjoyed this place.
For more than a century, Scout Field has been a haven for families, birdwatchers, children doing horticulture and science project research, lacrosse, soccer and volleyball players, dog walkers, and those who book the adjoining Boy Scout Cabin for private parties.
There are growing concerns that the use of the proposed soccer field by residents of Eastchester will generate additional traffic congestion on Midland Avenue and substantially add to continued trash around Upper Scout Field and in the adjacent Bronx River.
On August 27, current Westchester County executive George Latimer, accompanied by Kenneth Jenkins, deputy county executive, Mike Breen, Yonkers Council member, 5th district, Victor Mallison, county governmental relations representative, and Eamonn O'Brien, legislative aide for David Tubiolo, 14th district legislator, visited Scout Field and were given a complete walking tour of both Upper and Lower Scout Fields and then met with a group of more than 40 regular parkgoers. Mr. Latimer took and answered questions and heard the impassioned remarks of his constituents, who urged him to leave this field in its natural state. We were asked by Mr. Latimer to give him a month's time to assess everything, after which he'd make a decision.
County Executive Latimer has heard our concerns and is still reviewing both the legality of the soccer field project and how it can be worked out to preserve full public use of, and access to, the field.
Anyone interested in learning more about and joining Save Scout Field is invited to view our website, http://www.savescoutfield.com, and to contact County Executive George Latimer, as well as their local legislators to urge them not to let this plan become a reality.
Susan Burkat and John Torres
Members, Save Scout Field
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