[CT Birds] Fwd: FW: Boothe Park Dog Run Opposition - Thurs, Jan 12th - Stfd. Town Hall
mikebaldyga at gmail.com
Tue Jan 10 21:32:09 EST 2017
---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Baldyga, Michael <mbaldyga at mbi-inc.com>
Date: Tue, Jan 10, 2017 at 3:05 PM
Subject: FW: Boothe Park Dog Run Opposition - Thurs, Jan 12th - Stfd. Town
To: Michael Baldyga <mikebaldyga at gmail.com>
Sorry if my formatting isn't correct.
*From:* Gwen Ackley [mailto:bluesbird at sbcglobal.net]
*Sent:* Monday, January 09, 2017 8:40 PM
*To:* Baldyga, Michael <mbaldyga at mbi-inc.com>; Michael Baldyga <
mikebaldyga at gmail.com>
*Subject:* Fw: Boothe Park Dog Run Opposition - Thurs, Jan 12th - Stfd.
Could you please forward this email to your birders who use Boothe Park?
Perhaps some of them could either write letters or attend the meeting that
Ann Minton mentions for this Thursday, Jan. 12 at 7 pm at Stratford Town
Hall Council Chambers
On Jan 9, 2017 6:39 PM, "Gwen Ackley" <bluesbird at sbcglobal.net> wrote:
Ann, where do I send a letter? Can it be emailed, as not much time to mail
it. Please review what I wrote, both below and attached as a Word file and
let me know if it meets your approval.
I am also copying my family as well as Stratford friends to make them aware
of this disasterous proposal of the Dog Park Subcommittee to take over an
acre of Boothe Memorial Park and Museum for a dog park. You don't take away
land from a historic place for the dogs, especially when there is other
land in Stratford that could better accomodate dogs.
Dog Park Subcommittee
Town of Stratford, CT
Re: Dog Park at Boothe Park
January 9, 2017
To whom it may concern,
My name is Gwen Ackley, and I am a descendant of the Boothe Family through
my great-grandmother Ann Elizabeth Boothe Cook. My husband Parker Ackley
and I are also members of the Friends of Boothe Memorial Park and Museum.
We volunteer our time each year to help publicize the Opening Day of the
Park and Museum buildings. We also participate in the annual car show on
that same day with our own historic vehicle, an original 1915 Dodge
Brothers Touring Car. This car show has helped raised public awareness of
the great legacy to the Town of Stratford left by my cousins, the Boothe
Brothers Stephen and David Boothe. We have been very pleased to see the
public attendance to the park increase along with the membership to the
Friends of Boothe Park as a result of more activities that promote history
on Opening Day.
It has come to our attention that the Dog Park Subcommittee has a proposal
to construct a dog park or dog run at the Park. This subcommittee is
requesting one acre of land from the park that would be fenced in for dogs
to run freely. However this proposal is in direct violation to the last
Will and Testament of the Boothe Brothers who left the park for *people* to
enjoy its present pastoral state. In addition, Boothe Memorial Park and
Museum was listed on the National Register of Historic Places
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Register_of_Historic_Places> on May
1, 1985. The *National Register of Historic Places* (*NRHP*) is the United
States federal government
sites, buildings, structures, and objects * deemed worthy of preservation*.
People have enjoyed fun times at the park, for a quiet picnic, family
reunion, wedding or prom photos, or simply a quiet walk across the grounds.
The Rose Garden especially has been used for many weddings and wedding
photos. Its peaceful setting is accompanied by a beautiful water fountain
and bird song. With the barking from a dog park on the grounds, couples
planning their wedding and other civic groups will go elsewhere which will
cause the town of Stratford to lose revenue from renting the buildings.
A large percentage of the people visiting the park are avid bird watchers.
Because of the park’s location next to the Housatonic River, its grounds
are both a migratory rest stop as well as home to a large variety of birds. The
park attracts a number of different species due to the large open areas,
many trees and the nearby Housatonic River
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Housatonic_River>. A September 2010 bird
watching festival held by the Connecticut Audubon Society
262 birds of 49 species, including the bald eagle
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bald_eagle>, double-crested cormorant
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Double-crested_cormorant>, downy woodpecker
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Downy_woodpecker>, great blue heron
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_blue_heron>, monk parakeet
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monk_parakeet> and red-tailed hawk
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red-tailed_hawk>. On the Internet, birders
are constantly posting the bird sightings that they experience at Boothe
Park. Rare birds will not land where a canine threat is present. The Boothe
Brothers built an aviary for birds on the property, so it is obvious where
they stand in birds versus dogs.
School groups have utilized the historic building and artifacts for
educational purposes. *Boothe Memorial Museum* which maintains a collection
of twenty architecturally unique buildings. Some of the structures include
a carriage house, Americana Museum, miniature lighthouse, windmill, a clock
tower museum, trolley station, chapel, and a blacksmith shop. Putting a dog
park on the grounds could adversely impact obtaining educational grants for
the Friends to continue the school programs.
The historic nature and museum quality of Boothe Memorial Park and Museum
will be negatively affected to have its lands turned into something that
was not at all intentioned by the Boothe Family. While some dog owners may
be respectful with well-trained animals, often that is not the case. Dogs
bark, assault people and other dogs by sniffing, licking and growling, and
their waste products are often not properly disposed. Who protects the
public enjoying the historic park when dogs go astray or misbehave? Is
there going to be a 24 hour guard on patrol?
Does a dog park belong on historic property with museum buildings? I do not
think so, my ancestors would not have thought so, and the *National
Register of Historic Places* definitely would not think so. Please locate
the dog park elsewhere in Stratford. Please leave Boothe Memorial Park and
Museum as a proper legacy of the Boothe family.
Cell 203-414-4868 <(203)%20414-4868>
bluesbird at sbcglobal.net
On Monday, January 9, 2017 12:59 PM, Ann Minton <ann.m.minton at gmail.com>
Dear Gwen and Rich,
This is a copy of a posting on my Facebook page. I have also been out
stuffing the mailboxes of many neighbors. Virginia Harris and Bessie are
both at work gathering the support of other friends of the Park. Just
wanted you to know what we are facing and to ask for your help in any form.
Gwen - If you wrote a letter as a descendant of the Boothe family, that
might be very powerful.
Rich, a word from the Car Club or the Vets or both would really help as
Dear Friends and Neighbors of Boothe Park,
Many of you know that I have long a neighbor and advocate for Boothe Park.
I know that many of you as well have enjoyed fun times at the park, for a
quiet picnic, family reunion, wedding or prom photos, or simply a quiet
walk across the grounds.
It has come to our attention that a group called the Dog Park Subcommittee
has a proposal to construct a dog park or dog run at the Park. This
subcommittee is requesting one acre of land from the park that would be
fenced in for dogs to run freely.
I want you to know that a Public Hearing will take place in the Stratford
Town Hall Council Chambers at 7:00 p.m., this Thursday evening on January
12, 2017. This is a special hearing specifically to discuss this issue.
As a friend and neighbor, I have always admired that the Town of Stratford
has honored the last Will and Testament of the Boothe Brothers by keeping
the park in its current pastoral state. If you are an advocate of the Park,
I thought you would want to know. Boothe Park, as we know it, is definitely
It is critically important that we both show a presence at this public
hearing, and voice our concerns. If you would like to speak, come early and
The Minutes of the Dog Park Subcommittee are posted on the Town of
Stratford website, under the Agenda and Minutes heading.
I hope that you will support the efforts to place the Dog Park in another
place. Certainly there must be other places in Town, where the historic
nature and museum quality of Boothe will not be negatively effected.
All the best,
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