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Queens Chronicle

It’s our park

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Posted: Thursday, November 1, 2012 10:30 am

Dear Editor:

When one thinks of Flushing Meadows Corona Park there seem to be different opinions on exactly what the park is. Some see it as multiple soccer fields connected by green space and others see it as a park that has soccer fields in it. These opposing viewpoints are really what is at the heart of the professional soccer stadium argument.

Mr. Abbot, the president of Major League Soccer, in his letter to the editor (“No loss of fields,” Letters, Oct. 18) is fast to assure that his stadium will not result in a loss of soccer fields. He then spends seven additional paragraphs speaking of the role of soccer in the community.

I contend, like many other local people, that the park is just that — a park ("Parks for the people," Letters, Oct. 25). I contend that recreation is not just playing soccer. If anyone were to visit the park during the warm months they would see thousands of Queens residents at the park. They come with family and friends. They come as large groups, couples and singles. Yes, some are playing or watching soccer games, but many others are picnicking, barbecuing, sunbathing, playing volleyball, bike riding, tricycle riding and doing a myriad of other activities.

These are the people who will be displaced when the park becomes the home of a professional soccer stadium, parking lots and “new and improved” soccer fields. These are the people who will lose their green space. Replacement green space is not available in Queens, so that is a straw man argument.

Flushing Meadows Corona Park doesn’t have $100 million donors to ensure it remains a people’s green park (try putting the stadium in Central Park!). It is the park of the working and middle classes. Unfortunately, many of our politicians seem to have abandoned us. We need to all speak out to ensure that our park remains just a park that has soccer fields in it.

Ellen Minaker

Welcome to the discussion.