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Compromise is called for on Shepherdstown’s Rumsey Monument lighting proposal

By Staff | Jul 2, 2010

The Shepherdstown Parks & Rec Committee has been discussing the light of Rumsey Monument, which involves the consideration of 2 issues:

1) The impact the lighting will have on wildlife, and the neighborhood

2) The dramatic presentation of the Rumsey Monument to those entering Shepherdstown or the park itself

Too many times on a controversial issue, we get into “I’m right, you’re wrong” or “we versus them” drama/attitudes, when a compromise could work for the greater good. We all make a footprint, an environmental impact: How big is our house, our car, How efficient are we in our daily use of resources? Then it is a balance between impact and what is the benefit to the community.

Impact: Importantly, the Rumsey Monument would not be lit 24/7; but only 2-4 hours a day (from 8 to 10 p.m. or 6 to 10 p.m., depending on the season). The longer hours (4) would be during the winter, a time with less bird activity/migration. Regarding, homes bordering the park, the Rumsey monument is shielded from the neighboring homes by trees and a rock bluff, so a direct line of sight is not the issue. In addition, a manual switch would be available for additional limitations, if needed.

Benefit: It’s much more than showcasing Shepherdstown.

My wife Dore Ann & I have been volunteers with the Parks & Rec committee for over 10 years. During that time, our parks have at the best been ignored by the general community, and at worst vandalized by a few.

Over the years, “work-bees” to clean-up/maintain the parks (even though advertised in the Chronicle and town notices) have seen no one from town or local neighborhoods show up.

Now, some of our parks, especially Rumsey are in need of serious maintenance and structural repairs. Lighting the monument is a way to enlighten the community to the lessings we have in our local parks and responsibility we share in maintaining them.

David Miljour


Rotary Club of Shepherdstown