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Letter to Editor Austin

By Staff | Mar 23, 2012

On a recent weekend a local resident who lives near Morgan’s Grove Park confronted a group of men who were cutting dead trees. The local authorities were called and it turned out that they were volunteers simply doing a good turn for the community. But the incident highlighted several important points about contributing to the quality of life in our Shepherdstown area.

First, it is wonderful that someone saw some unusual activity going on in the park and cared enough to do something about it. That sets an example for all of us. Jefferson County has been plagued by a significant increase in destructive vandalism in recent months and the only way to stop it is increased vigilance by our citizens and active support of the municipal police and sheriff’s departments.

Second, this was a perfect example of a spontaneous initiative from local citizen who saw something that needed to be done and made it happen. A local group of volunteers had approached the Shepherdstown Community Club (SCC) and said that if we would rent the bucket lift equipment, they would cut the dead trees that were endangering highly used areas of the park. A number of very large and badly decayed tree limbs were precariously overhanging the exercise trail and portions of the playground. Jefferson County maintenance staff had already marked the trees that needed pruning. For less than $250 we were able to rent the hydraulic lift and remove the tree limbs. Jay O’Hurley provided extra equipment so we were able safely to complete the project over the weekend and save several thousand dollars (the cost of professional tree surgeons) that can now be used for other park improvements.

We applaud this sense of ownership and willingness to get involved in helping to maintain our quality of life. Although the SCC owns the park, it really belongs to everybody in the area. We are delighted to frequently find people, even beyond the Eastern Panhandle and nearby counties in Maryland who know and love Morgan’s Grove Park.

Mike Austin