Fresno will never be “FresYes” as long as bureaucrats keep our limited green spaces closed to the public. A visitor might wonder why there is a sign, “Park Closed,” on almost every ponding basin.
In this oppressive heat, the well-watered and mowed green grass and the mature shade trees look very inviting, but they are now off limits to the taxpayers who support them. I had been taking my friendly, well-behaved dogs to the basin at Thorne and Holland avenues for 10 years before they locked the gates. This was our part of our neighborhood, a place where “everybody knows your name.”
It was a place of community in a town where everyone hides inside his air-conditioned house. It was a place where kids threw footballs and soccer teams practiced and dog owners walked the perimeter while their dogs ran and played.
If the flood control district is worried about liability, I would be happy to sign a waiver. Perhaps the gates could be keyed and keys given to those willing to take responsibility for their dogs. Years ago, Fresno Unified paid college kids to supervise playgrounds in the summer. There is always a solution.
Karen Johnson, Fresno