The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, October 14, 1998, Page 5, Image 5

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    Park it, pal
Saving Wilderness Park is an environmental and economical issue
SON is a graduate student
in German and environ
mental social studies and a
Daily Nebraskan colum
Go to Lefler Junior High, 48th and
D Streets, tonight at 7:00 p.m.
Why? Because you shouldn’t just
get out and vote. You should make
yourself aware of the issues that affect
your dollar and your interests.
The Friends of Wilderness Park is
holding a meeting tonight to let devel
opers explain why they think it is a
good idea to build an elevated highway
over Wilderness Park, therefore con
necting Yankee Hill Road south of
The politicians and developers in
this city have been longtime partners
in crime. They publicly acknowledge
the urbanization of our small town and
its future. It is up to all of us to inteiject
our opinions about their policies and
help them intelligently build a city that
the public finds suitable.
In this style of capitalist-democra
cy, the public is responsible to watch
their own backyards, or have them sold
for the capitalists’ (developers’) gain.
There isn’t a state agency to help
us out, at least not one that is con
cerned with sustainable development.
The general concerned public also
isn’t usually as heavily endowed with
monetary backing as the capitalists,
and therefore, doesn’t have as loud a
The Wilderness Park issue exem
plifies the general problem of short
sighted city planning without an envi
ronmental ethic. The paving and
expansion of the United States is one
of the most dangerous problems con
fronting our society and is the cause of
increased social, environmental and
economic disruption. We have to
change it
The cities in the United States are
becoming unmanageable in many
ways because of exponential expan
sion, and it will be only a short time
before the United States comes crash
ing down in more arenas and more
severely than during the Great
Don’t know much about
Wilderness Park and don’t care? Let
me tell you why you should.
Wilderness Park is a piece of land
that stretches from Van Dorn Street
south to Saltillo Road along Southwest
12* Street to South 27th Street It was
created in the 1970s to be a buffer zone
that absorbs the imminent flooding of
the Salt Creek.
Recently, an area near South 14th
Street between Pine Lake and Yankee
Hill has come under attack from
numerous entities wanting to build
near this area, on top of fertile agricul
tural land and bordering the buffered
Wilderness Park.
Let me tell you all - this is a very,
very bad idea.
You see, Wilderness Park is not i
only an important habitat for wildlife
and an enjoyable recreation spot; it is a
seriously important area located on the
floodway and floodplain of the Salt
If development were to occur as
near to the park as is planned, not only i
would the ecology of the park suffer a
great deal, but the possible conse- ;
quences of nearby and downstream
flooding of the Salt Creek are severe. <
The economic ramifications are as
severe as the ecological problems.
Remember what happened in
Texas this year? Besides the devastat- i
ing heat wave, they experienced a very
severe flooding that ruined much of
the area surrounding the city of Del
Did you hear what happened in
Kansas City two Sundays ago? If you '
were watching the Chiefs vs. ^;
Seahawks game, you saw it get post- 1
poned for an hour. That’s because they <
received six inches of rain in an hour.
They’ve been trying to recover from <
the damage since then.
It is for these reasons Wilderness i
Park was created. It buffers such sud- i
den, severe flooding, which are immi- i
nent in our part of the world too.
A park like this is not ordinary, it is
extraordinary. That’s because it houses
so much wildlife and also plays a criti
cal role in preventing seriously damag
ing floods in the southwest portion of
our city. Besides the necessary part it
olays in protecting immediate sur
rounding neighborhoods, it is also nec
essary to protect neighborhoods down
stream, right behind our downtown.
Any type of building abutting the
oark, all of which is supported by
Mayor Mike Johanns, is terrible, short
sighted, unsustainable city planning
hat neither looks at the long-term
effects and damages of the buildings
hemselves, as well as surrounding
ireas, but also proposes building sim
)Iy for employment and profitable
There are several issues concem
ng the park, but I only have room to
ist them, because it is necessary to
explain further deleterious effects as
1) Proposed elevated roadway con
lecting Yankee Hill Road.
2) Bond issue on November 3rd
eallot (Vote no!): Transformation of
Colonel Densmore Park into a recre
itional megacomplex with four lighted
easeball fields, numerous tennis
courts, soccer fields and playground.
3) Proposed strip mall abutting the
cast side of Wilderness Park (the deal
vas made before the zone change was
ipproved in the County/City chamber
n front of a strong disapproval by the
4) Lincoln Public Schools building
a new high school.
5) Optimists Club sale of land
northwest of Old Cheney Road. Some
idiot wants to make an “Old West”
tourist attraction and serve the remain
ing buffalo we have with mustard and
All these proposals are very, very
ignorant. They will c&ise light pollu
tion, noise pollution, solid waste pollu
tion, pavement runoff pollution, etc.
These will cause great damage to the
ecosystem of the park.
Any of the proposed building will
cause great disruption in the stability
of the land to prevent flooding.
Excessive amounts of land moving
and cement placing will deeply disrupt
the effectiveness of the park to be a
buffer zone for flooding.
If it does flood, the enormous
amounts of money that taxpayers
would have put into these public devel
opments will be jeopardized.
Furthermore, the destruction that will
occur to such buildings on top of such
land will lead to further repairs, cost
ing taxpayers even more money.
As you can see, there are obviously
better areas to build strip malls and
schools on, because not every area in
Lincoln is resting on top of floodlands.
The Friends of Wilderness Park
meets tonight, October 14 at 7:00 p.m.
at Lefler Junior High School. Go there
and voice your concerns.
Help establish thoughtful, sustain
able planning choices in Lincoln,
rather than costly, shortsighted and
downright ignorant ones.
Miscellaneous debris
A morning of community service reveals the seedy underbelly ofUNL’s campks ‘ •
ERIN REITZ ua senior the
ater performance major
and a Daily Nebraskan
Community service: It ain’t just
for criminals anymore!
I’m thinking about submitting that
as a new public service announcement
suggestion. Let me know what you
think. (Feel free to write letters and/or
send money.)
, You may be wondering, “What is
prompting this sassy little column?”
Litter. Litter after football games.
Litter at 8 in the morning.
I’ve had the good fortune of being
able to dodge community service for
many, many years. A few weeks ago it
caught up with me.
“ASUN’s first community service
project of the year will be cleaning up
Memorial Stadium! Bring your gloves
and gas masks!” spake one senator at
our last meeting. My gas mask unfor
tunately had been run over by a truck
recently, and I had left my gloves at
home, so I was a bit worried.
I was being asked to perform
deeds once only reserved for convicts,
but that’s not what was bugging me.
Instead, I think it had something to do
with the kind of (physical) stuff I was
anticipating dealing with.
It turned out to be as bad as I
thought (even though I got lucky and
snagged one of those cool squeezie
picker-upper-thingies). /
I would like to do a run-down for
you detailing some of the things that
were found in not-sd-inconspicuous
places on this lovely (littered) campus
of ours: i
A green plastic hanger. I’m not
sure what was going on there. But hey,
free hanger!
Empty condom packets. These
were right by the stadium. Come on,
people. Tact, tact, tact! (“Dammit
honey, not now, the game’s still
Empty and FULL alcohol contain
ers. These were all over the place.
Some people had the courtesy to place
them in neat little piles, but most did
n’t. (Note: Bees LOVE alcohol! If you
want to torture a bee-phobic commu
nity service worker, leave lots of it
Kentucky Fried Chicken recepta
cles. I’d like to stress that the time for
healthy living is now, but Nebraskans
don’t seem to give a flying fig.
We really seem to like our
KFC. Finger-lickin’ good! y
Plastic bags full ofwater. r
I’m guessing these were used J ^
in coolers as ice packs, but
people are devious. I think I \'
saw an S&M special on HBO ' /
involving these. By the way, 1/
thanks for emptying them out *
when you left.
Lots of pieces of Styrofoam.
Maybe they came from the trashed
out coolers of the Washington fans
who destroyed them out of anger and
pure humiliation.
Layers upon layers of unidentifi
able crap. Not literally crap, but some
thing rather close to it. Yummy!
When I got to the stadium on
that beautiful Nebraska mom- /
ing, I was expecting a job of 'x
about 20 minutes, considering
we had many teams of six or \
seven dynamic, hard-work
ing super scoopers.
It took a little over an hour.
I am aware it was probably
non-students who came to the
bloodfest that made this cam
pus a wreck, but, guess what?
(You’re never gonna
believe this one.)
Students were partially
It really warms my heart
that we care so much about
our campus.
If you are residing beneath
a rock, you are exempt from realizing
why this is irritating. This university
has done pretty much everything they
could in the last few years to make our
campus a pleasant place to be.
Landscaping has become an important
priority here, and I dig it
Maybe we should check out what
we’re taking for granted and start to
appreciate it.
Just because you are aware that
there will be people cleaning up the
morning after the semi-weekly
annihilation doesn’t give
you the right to destroy the
land you’re walking on.
This cam
pus is now a
dam groovy
chunk of land
to hang out on,
and I, for one, would like to see it stay “The Man” has been telling you all
that way. your life to keep your butts in check,
I’m not trying to be one of the so do it. (Pun intended, people. Pun
nightmare tree-huggers from PCU. All intended.)
I’m asking of you is this: Use those Clean up after yourselves. You
foreign contraptions scattered around won’t get shot if you help clean up
known as trash cans. Please. They after others, either. Volunteer to tidy
may smell funny, but they are your up after UNL sporting events when
friends. They will not bite you. you have some spare time.
Use the cigarette disposal pillars, Keep UNL spanking clean. You’ll
too. One of my fellow super-scoopers help to keep our facilities sparkling
picked up about a thousand cigarette and maybe even get that warm, fuzzy
butts that morning. feeling deep inside
It’s a good way to
ensure the alumni will
keep giving us money.