The following was submitted as the NPS is soliciting comments thereto:
… Observation is made based on active historic and archeological research personally conducted in or near park boundaries for documenting purposes in the last year 2007-2008. Further, on access to the lower Chattahoochee river area growing up 1950’s-60’s; observations on current use of the lower park area; and “suspect” archeological evidences yet to be defined by the NPS.
Having returned to the Smyrna/Vinings area to live with a 40 year gap in experiencing access to the river, I was overwhelmingly pleased to find that a national park designation had been effected. Fearing total development, I realized that the integrity of undisturbed “place” still existed from my youth. First of all, that’s a good thing.
However, with recent scrutiny and time, I began to see some things that were not so good. (1) infringement of outside park development density had, in places, caused trash and erosion effects. (2) invasive plant species were choking off access and visibility in places. (3) favored areas known as a child such as along Rottenwood Creek were now high in sewage evidences and trash accumulation, or difficult to access such as from Rottenwood Creek North to the “Narrows,” or known as Devil’s Race Course. (4)little knowledge of “place” was expressed by those encountered within the park – either by visitors or those working in the park. (5) historical or archeological evidences within the lower park boundaries were either unknown, unidentified, or unprotected. (6) feral animal evidences were relatively high (dogs, coyotes, etc.) (7) Park ranger or authority presences was essentially nil.
The observed use of lower park for running, walking, bicycling, and fishing, were positive use factors – there was little pause for solitude or knowledge which provides a connection with sacred space – as opposed to “utility” space.
ANY opportunity, among the proposed plans to address these issues would positively preserve an integrated public appreciation and joint participation.