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Town Run responsibility of all

By Staff | Aug 16, 2013

Has anyone noticed that Town Run is no longer visible on either side of Morgan’s Grove Road?

Last week I met with the Chronicle’s editor to discuss long term problems with Town Run, particularly within Morgan’s Grove Park.

Gravel runoff has been clogging the stream for several years; its effects are plainly visible.

I was perplexed to read in the August 9th article that the Shepherdstown Community Club board “was not aware of the gravel runoff problem until contacted about this story”…

That is very interesting because on March 22 I telephoned the president of the club. We had a nice, lengthy conversation about the gravel, the dangerous narrow footbridge, and the clogged stream.

I suggested meeting with him, and other board members, at the footbridge/gravel area – I even offered to pay for some of the expenses for a new bridge.

No meeting ever took place, and finally after not hearing from any club members, I telephoned the president again, on June 11th, leaving a message……and have not received a return call.

Discussing the problem with club members would have been a preferable way to do things, but since no has bothered to contact me, and the problem persists, I contacted the Chronicle newspaper.

In early July, a tree on the east side of Morgan’s Grove fell across the road. Road crews cut it up, and let huge, leafy limbs fall into Town Run, on the park side. The limbs are still there, along with invasive weeds, clogging the flow of the stream even more.

Has anyone noticed?

Some people are going to say that this is a natural evolution of a stream; that is simply not true in this case. Gravel buildup is not natural.

But having lived near the park since 1963 I have been keenly aware of the parks developements/effects. Park land was bulldozed and leveled to create soccer fields; much of the removed dirt was pushed toward the stream. Probably, run off of chemicals/fertilizers used on the soccer fields have contributed to the growth of invasive weeds in the stream .

Years before that leveling, the stream was clear, ran smoothly and was stocked with fish (trout?), so people could fish – and children could put little sailboats in the water. Up until a few years ago, Canada Geese had families in the stream.

Owning Morgan’s Grove Park is a huge responsibility, and we, as a community are blessed to have such a beautiful park. My intent is not to point a finger at anyone, but to encourage responsible stewardship of the natural resources in the park.

Years ago I formed a “Friends of Morgan’s Grove Park” to deal with neighbors’ concerns about what was going on in the park; the Men’s Club met with the group and we had a good meeting. The club was at a point when not all of the board members knew what was going on – this seems to be the case now.

One of the best things that came out of those 1988 meetings was the Men’s Club (now the SCC) knew how much people cared for the park, and were willing to participate in taking care of – unfortunately

that mutual enthusiasm did not continue – but I suspect that if encouraged, someone could start another “Friends”.

I was glad to read that on August 20, another group will be working in/around Town Run to clear up a small area of the stream.

That is a beginning to good stewardship.

Diana Suttenfield