The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, November 23, 2001

Kindergarten needs playground

To the Editor:

The Carlisle Public Schools is reaching out to the community to help us give our younger students a safe place to play during recess.

Due to state-mandated reasons, the Castle Playground has been made off-limits to all children less than six years of age (this includes kindergartners). The old Mexico Forge structure was removed last year for safety reasons. The school looked into using Diment Playground but it was determined that it is too far for the children to walk during recess period. The Diment Playground is designed for preschoolers, who use the playground during school hours. This leaves the school's center courtyard, the Plaza, for the younger children to play. Kindergartners share recess and lunch with first, second and third graders. Despite the diligent efforts of recess monitors (school employees and parent volunteers), the younger children still attempt to play on the Castle Playground. We would like to provide a welcoming, safe place for current and future kindergarten classes to play together. The Castle remains an enticing, but off-limits place for the kindergartners.

The school budgeted $3,500 last year to replace the old Mexico Forge structure. After careful consideration, the school would like to install a modern structure by Landscape Structures Inc. This new structure is designed to be relocated if the need arises. The total cost of the structure, including installation, is $25,000.

Much progress has been made to date. Research and selection of a play structure is complete. A Carlisle family has pledged a challenge grant of $5,000. Our sincere thanks go to those that have already made donations. You have made it possible for us to attain this grant that was so generously pledged. We are now turning to the people of Carlisle for your help to raise the remaining funds to install the playground. With your help, the equipment can be ordered and delivery and installation can be completed in early spring.

If you can help us give current and future kindergartners a safe place of their own to play, please send a tax deductible donation to: CSA Playground, c/o Holly Salemy, 438 Concord Street, Carlisle, MA 01741.

Please contact our committee members, Holly Salemy (1-978-369-2875) or Kim Rusling-Flynn (1-978-287-5322), if you would like more information.

Kimberly Rusling-Flynn
Woodbine Road

Ad shocked trails committee

To the Editor:

As chairman of the Carlisle Trails Committee, I write to express my shock and dismay over the ad placed in last week's Mosquito by the Friends of the Town Forest. The ad wrongly implied trails committee support for the group's political position.

The trails committee has not taken a formal stand on either Town Meeting Article 7 or Article 8, both of which involve the future of the Town Forest.

Even if the trails committee had taken a formal position on the Warrant articles as town boards and committees frequently do we would not and could not allow a private group to run political ads implying our endorsement of the private group or its position.

I sincerely hope that the unfortunate wording used in the ad was a product of confusion and mistaken judgment on the part of otherwise well-intended citizens.

Louise Hara, chairman
Carlisle Trails Committee

Town Forest is special

To the Editor:

The Town Forest is very special to me and I think everyone loves it too. I do not want you to build in the forest. I usually go to the stream to go over my memories. I like to see what can float. Sometimes I see deer. In the winter I see ski tracks. I tried to ski there too. Please save the Town Forest. Thank you.

Julia Blanco, age 7
East Street

Balancing competing interests

To the Editor:

Recent issues of the Mosquito have reported on the debate about use of Carlisle's Town Forest for affordable housing and other initiatives. Article 7 provides funds for a site analysis to include engineering and other studies to determine whether the land is suitable for affordable housing and other uses. I urge that the study be allowed to move forward.

All competing interests in Carlisle must learn to coexist. It is possible to tastefully develop certain portions of land and also retain open space and other environmental-friendly conditions. Unrestricted land is scarce in Carlisle. I believe that the study should move forward to determine whether the present proposals for the land are feasible. To block off one portion of Carlisle's vast acreage from self-controlled development is to open the door to developers who can circumvent Carlisle's land use controls when proposing affordable developments.

I'm sure that some people will find cause to criticize my remarks. However, I once served on Carlisle's Conservation Commission and was charged with responsible management of Carlisle's conservation resources. In addition, in my professional life I have first-hand experience with developments that can balance competing interests, including environmental protection.

Let's let the analysis proceed.

Carolyn M. Kiely
Hartwell Road

2001 The Carlisle Mosquito