By Riley J. Hood
Emerald necklaces sound pretty expensive, but Princess Marina’s “Emerald Necklace” is more expensive than most. The Milwaukee County board issued a resolution by Marina Dimitrijevic stating:
“BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that climate change is not a hoax, and in this county, with its Emerald Necklace of parks, parkways, and urban waterways, and bordered by the beautiful shores of Lake Michigan, science matters and we will continue our work to protect our natural resources for future generations; and”
While I could take Marina’s hypocrisy to task about protecting Milwaukee’s natural resources when our County has the very filthy Milwaukee River and a polluted lake shore under her auspices, the phrase that really stands out is the Milwaukee County park system being an Emerald Necklace. The County Parks are no gem. They provide visual cover for muggers and rapists. Every summer there are reports of people being victimized in County Parks. I have a park three blocks from my home where 5 people were shot at a picnic table in broad daylight.
The only emerald like quality of Milwaukee County Parks is how expensive they are. Last year Milwaukee County paid 6,831,266 taxpayer dollars to maintain the County Parks.
The value of Parks goes back to John Muir, the crazy heretic who founded the Sierra Club. He and his elitist supporters like Theodore Roosevelt believed that there was something “spiritual” about nature. The Great outdoors was the answer to everything from depression to tuberculosis. Parks have been overrated for the past 120 years. Parks are an expensive undue burden on the taxpayer, and there is no proper role for Civil Government in providing people with recreation. The County Board should sell this land to private concerns, which would lower the County’s operating costs and remove hiding places for criminals at the same time.