Letters: Tired of the naysayers

Letter writer is in favour of the proposed Bike Skills Park

I am endlessly frustrated and tired of reading the letters and opinions of hypocritical naysayers. People who are against everything, but never seem to have an alternative suggestion or idea of their own to offer.

They protest “green” energy sources – solar requires clear-cutting and dirty manufacturing of panels; hydro alters natural water courses; tidal has a negative effect on marine life; nuclear might one day have a meltdown; wind turbines are loud and kill birds; yet they expect our utility providers to service their homes with heat and electricity.

They protest pipelines and tar sands, yet demand access to oil so they can drive their cars and heat their homes. They protest cell radiation and tower locations, yet they have a smart phone in their pocket 24/7. They even protest triathlons.

Locally, we have the John Phillips Memorial Park naysayers. I drive by this park at least four times a day, and it is almost always deserted.

The naysayers want to keep this “beloved” green space (which many letter writers have admitted they didn’t realize was a park, and have never been there) in its natural state, so that people can continue not to use it. If the park is left in its current “natural” state, it will eventually be developed or it will turn into a beautiful cluster of blackberries and broom for us all to enjoy.

They say this is the last, large, valuable green space in Sooke? Step out your front door and open your eyes.

The best use of this treasured green space, to ensure its long term protection and make it most accessible for everyone, is to give a small piece to as many special interest groups as possible, allowing the park to be shaped and enjoyed by everyone in the community – a horseshoe playing area, bike skills park, frisbee golf course, off-leash area for dogs, children’s waterpark/playground, workout circuit etc., – an area that all Sooke residents can actually use and be proud of. The bike park has never been a single- use suggestion.

This past week a letter was published, trashing a local small-business owner and his dedicated effort to turn a small part of John Phillips Park into a useful area for Sooke’s children to use. I am not a member of the Sooke Bike Club, but I do know that Lorien Arnold has dedicated a tremendous amount of time, effort and money for several bicycle-oriented projects in our community. For many years Lorien has been one of Vancouver Islands leading bicycle advocates, promoting a green transportation alternative as well as a healthy and active lifestyle for children, and yet the naysayers attack him for his unending, unappreciated, community-serving efforts. Clearly people are losing sight of the fact that this bike park is for kids – not for the few dedicated volunteers in the club.

Maybe some parents in Sooke want their children to grow up knowing nothing but TV and video games, but for me, I want my kids to play outside. I can’t think of a better use for our green space than to provide several options of outdoor activities for all members of the community – young and old – to enjoy together.

It takes a community to raise a child. Don’t be a hypocrite, and unless you have an alternative suggestion, keep your ‘no’ to yourself.

Chris Dunn

Sooke