Trade Wind is special to many

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To the Editor:

I am an Oak Bluffs resident, and I have consistently used Trade Wind Fields Preserve five or more times a week for the past 10 years. I run there, I walk there, and I bike there. I love Trade Wind. I love the inner cross-country trails, the great sky, the deer, rabbits, and grasses. I used this Land Bank route to the Oak Bluffs School with my children on foot and on bikes for nearly five years in all kinds of weather. In the winter, I have seen people cross-country skiing down the middle of the runway. And, yes, this park is used by dog owners. I use it with my dogs as well; however, it is used by so many more.

When the gates to the parking area were closed for repair Sept. 28 to 30, I was there from about 6:30 am to 7:30 am. I counted seven cars in and out at the Tradewind Road entrance with people and their dogs, plus two cyclists using the trails. I have known one rider for many years — don’t know his name, but he and I greet each other three times a week. I grab my eager-to-chase setter and he stops his bike. We co-exist. And just last Friday, in the early evening, I passed a group of three moms and about 10 school-age children hiking the Trade Wind trails, laughing and playing together. Trade Wind is not just a Land Bank property, a dog-walk route, or a set of trails in the woods, it is a vital public space.

This is not an either/or dilemma. This is the best thing possible, a well-used public space, where people feel safe, which is adaptable to multiple uses and is ground for the community to collaborate. Do we curtail a place that is consistently used by families, dog walkers, seniors, and fitness types with all kinds of gear? Can we make our plans so that all sides are in the spirit of respecting all users? The proposed fence will create barriers, a poor view, and bad feelings among all users.

I respectfully ask that the questions around usage include everyone, because Trade Wind is special to so many for so many different reasons.

Mary Holmes
Oak Bluffs