By Elliot Rosenzweig
As part of the Great Neck bond issue, approximately $750,000 has been allocated for the removal of an open field adjacent to Great Neck North High School at the intersection of Beach and Polo roads. The removal is planned for this June.
In response, I made the following presentation at the Great Neck Public Schools Board of Education meeting on March 11.
Firstly, I want to thank this board and the men and women who have served on the Great Neck school board before you. You have devoted your time and energy for the education and protection of our Great Neck kids. It is truly a sign of love.
I, too, love our Great Neck kids. For five years, I was the Great Neck Troop 10 Scoutmaster. Those boys, who were teenagers back in the 1980s, are now men in their mid-40s with children of their own. One thing we reinforced was to respect and protect the environment. As adults, all of us, including my two boys, take the responsibility of protecting the environment seriously.
I look at the beautiful field at the intersection of Beach and Polo and am saddened to know that it is your intention to replace a living, breathing field with a slab of asphalt.
The outer perimeter with deciduous trees, some of which have to be more than 50 years old, will be torn down.
Fields that would replenish aquifers will now cause runoff.
With our notable science teachers at North, I can’t help but wonder what thoughts they may have for the use of the field at a fraction of the cost—perhaps a nature preserve connected to environmental studies at school.
What message are we sending to our kids? For the sake of convenience, would we rather asphalt a field rather than walk one block to Parkwood?
I have lived here for nearly 40 years, and if kids wanted to drive to school they either found any of the existing spots or parked at Parkwood.
How sad it would be to replace a field with a lot, only to find out that it is underutilized.
And, what about the homeowners who will now walk past a parking lot rather than a field?
I, too, voted for the school bond issue. In fact, I voted for the first bond issue that was defeated. I voted for the school board, knowing that you would be looking at what is best for our kids and the community at large.
Yes, we voted for the school bond issue, which included the construction of this parking lot. But, until that first back hoe comes in and rips out the trees, it is not too late.
I hope you will reconsider your decision.
Elliot Rosenzweig is a longtime Great Neck resident and former Troop 10 Scoutmaster, who taught his Scouts to protect the environment.