We were recently cc’ed on a copy of a new letter from the Tubbs Hill Foundation to Mayor Bloem and the Coeur d’Alene City Council regarding the ongoing McEuen Park discussion. In the April 28 letter signed by Foundation President Peter Luttropp, the Foundation reiterates and clarifies its position on the Tubbs Hill impacts of the McEuen project, particularly the proposed trail on the upper north face of the hill. A previous letter from the Foundation had enumerated opposition to the sledding hill, the artificial water features and other intrusions, but hadn’t specifically addressed the trail. In this letter the Foundation confirms a KEA concern:
Since then, our preliminary research and on-site inspections have convinced us that construction of such a trail, as conceptualized in the McEuen plan, cannot be done without disrupting the natural state of the hill. On that basis, we would oppose such a trail.
The Foundation also goes on to affirm support for disabled access to Tubbs Hill and says:
We reaffirm our willingness and desire to work with the city and others to see that such increased ease of use is developed. We believe there is at least one viable alternative that would provide access for the disabled, access that would be far more desirable aesthetically than the proposed north face trail overlooking McEuen Field. It would also provide a richer experience for those with disabilities who would use it.
And the Foundation echoes KEA’s strong desire to separate the Tubbs Hill issues, including the accessibility issue, from the McEuen Park issues:
Providing more user-friendly access to Tubbs Hill is a separate issue from the redesign of McEuen Field and should be resolved in a separate process.
The letter concludes:
The Foundation supports the vision of Tubbs Hill that is more user friendly for all members of our community while preserving the natural state of the hill. We again express our willingness to be a partner in making that vision a reality.
Count us in on that too. We think the Foundation’s position on Tubbs Hill is exactly correct. Regardless of how the McEuen project proceeds, better access for all, which also protects the natural qualities of Tubbs Hill, is worth working for.