To the Editor:
We are residents of Bar Harbor and have lived across from Glen Mary Woods for nearly 48 years. We are writing to express our complete support for maintaining Glen Mary Woods as it is, and in complete opposition to the idea of converting the bulk of the land into a dog park.
We understand that the fenced off area would include the path that extends from Waldron Road nearly to Park Street and Norris Avenue. That path is used by all ages, including children after school on their way to the YMCA and the athletic fields. Children play games in the woods. Folks sit on a bench or a stump to take in a breath of serenity, read, meditate or bird watch. Artists find inspiration for photography and sketching. Musicians young and old practice their musical instruments (even a bagpiper sometimes). There are dog walkers, most of them respectful about collecting waste.
Glen Mary Woods is a special little gem enjoyed by the families who use the wading pool/skating rink, the neighbors from the surrounding streets and many others. Fencing off this precious bit of nature within town will be detrimental to the wildlife that uses it for shelter, safety and as a food source. The woods currently serve as an unofficial animal sanctuary. Just this morning we took pleasure in observing a turkey roosting in an old spruce tree across from our window. And the deer are there always. Early spring brings vernal pools filled with peepers and wood frogs.
There are several items in the front page article of last week’s edition that we take issue with. One, the under utilization, which we covered above. Another issue is parking. During the summer months, our street is nearly impassible at certain hours due to cars parked for the wading pool. Folks also park on Spring Street and Glen Mary. Thirdly, dog waste. Poop bags are all well and good, but the terrain, with roots, stumps and trees, is such that owners will need to keep their eyes on their dogs at all times in order to be able to locate deposits. The chain link fence is another issue. I am sure that this will necessitate cutting down trees, as well as limiting access for wildlife. And we are not thrilled with the idea that this small park would then have TWO major areas fenced in. Part of the charm of Glen Mary is at least the illusion of being in a natural setting yet close to downtown.
Speaking as former pet owners and current dog grandparents, we think that a dog park could fill a need in Bar Harbor, but not in a residential neighborhood that already contains a busy wading pool/playground/skating rink. Surely there is some other “under-utilized” area that would serve the purpose without having to sacrifice the long-established traditions and benefits of the little park gifted by Mary Shannon so long ago.
Judy and Bill Fuller