Conserve Ox Ridge Field for Passive Recreation
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Please support the use of the town-owned Ox Ridge field for passive recreation for all Darien residents, and say "No" to organized athletic sports on this property.
Darien Residents Have Spoken
In June 2017, the Town purchased 16.25 acres from the Ox Ridge Hunt Club, an iconic, bucolic "managed open space" for $6.25 million. The property was identified in the Town's 2016 Plan of Conservation and Development as a “scenic view” and “managed space”. “The POCD recommends that Darien seek to preserve the 'managed' open spaces that exist in the community and seek to convert those to 'dedicated' open spaces if an opportunity arises.” The conservation of open space is a clear priority of the Town.
In the summer of 2017, the Parks and Recreation Commission issued a survey to take input on the Master Parks Plan from Darien residents. 69% of those surveyed said that reserving open space and land acquisition was the number one priority, while "Developing a portion of the Ox Ridge Hunt Club property" and "Adding athletic fields" didn't make the top ten.
Recommended Plans for Ox Ridge Field
A proposed recommendation by the Parks and Recreation Commission is to allow up to three athletic fields on this site. The site would be restricted to no permanent structures, except a not-to-exceed 1,000 square foot comfort station, and would significantly increase the intensity of use, including increased parking and traffic issues and disruption of the "scenic view" as a result of the athletic activity. Furthermore, athletic events such as soccer would negatively impact the equestrian activities of the Ox Ridge Hunt Club, and create potential liability as a result of upsetting the horses.
The Town has been given a gift: the chance to create an unstructured Waveny-like park setting where passive recreation occurs. We have multiple field spaces: Cherry Lawn, Town Hall, Baker Park, Edgerton/Middlesex, DHS, Royle, Holmes, Ox Ridge, Tokeneke, Hindley, and McGuane all accommodate field sports, and Weed Beach accommodates paddle and tennis. The Town park spaces for passive recreation are Selleck Woods, Woodland Park, Tilley Pond and few very small plots.
Do not miss this opportunity to make Ox Ridge field Darien’s version of the intentionally open fields at Waveny Park. This decision is our legacy, and consider the fact that once gone, we will never get the chance to preserve this much open space again.
Call to Action
Please sign your name AND address, and share with friends to show your support to preserve the Ox Ridge Field for passive recreation, and support organized athletic sport events at the many other Town properties. Thank you.
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