Whispering Hills is being considered for a dog park, a community garden, and for an indoor Soccer arena. Given that the City is already spending $40,000,000 on a sports center and has soccer fields all over the city (Borrego, Foothill, Heroes, Rancho Serrano, Regency) but not a single dog park or a community garden, I think it’s safe to say most people, apart from the Mayor, would support either of the other two alternatives.
Could Whispering Hills accommodate both a dog park and a community garden? Judging from the size of the area, and assuming a parking lot, it looks to me like we can adequately fit only one of these two alternatives, both of which I support. You could probably squeeze a small dog park and a small community garden into the area, but it doesn't seem reasonable to have two inadequate facilities instead of one really nice one.
Can the wisdom of Solomon be used to decide which of these alternatives gets the prize? Let’s see.
Judging by the number of people who have dogs and would use a dog park vs. the number of people who would use a community garden, the dog people probably are the largest group.
Judging by the enthusiasm of the people promoting their cause, the community garden people get the nod.
Looking at which of these two alternatives would benefit the City, I think it’s a toss-up. Both are excellent ideas and both would make the City a better place to live.
C.J., Brower, a Planning Commission and a resident of Cedar Glen, appeared at the PRC to talk about the dog park, an idea he supports in principal, but doesn’t want in his local park. He came up with an idea I thought was brilliant, and upon further reflection, I haven’t changed my mind. Brower’s idea – put the community garden in Darrin Park and put the dog park in Whispering Hills. Let’s examine this a little more closely.
Park opponents worried about the noise (vegetables
make very little noise), the environmental problems (a community garden is about as healthy as you are going to get),
danger to their children (apart from “The
Attack of the Killer Tomatoes”, veggies have a pretty low arrest record),
and the parking problem (Community
gardeners come and go at all times of the day, so there is no crowd effect as
there might be with dog parks).
In addition, Cedar Glen is one of those housing units where there is little space for gardening, so the locals could make excellent use of the community garden.
Obviously a lot more thought has to go into how to best use the vacant area Whispering Hills. But for the moment, C.J. Brower’s idea looks pretty good to me.