Editorial: City parks need fun and responsibilityFarmington City Council members have had a lot of conversations lately about the activities that should be allowed in city parks. First, a group of students sought a ban on smoking.
Farmington City Council members have had a lot of conversations lately about the activities that should be allowed in city parks. First, a group of students sought a ban on smoking. This week, council members were asked to consider whether people should be allowed to golf in the park.
What’s next? A petition to do away with the monkey bars? A drive to banish merry-go-rounds?
While we disagreed with efforts to make parks smoke free, we can see some of the reasoning behind the proposed ban on turning city parks into makeshift driving ranges. We’re more convinced there is a danger posed by flying golf balls than there is by people lighting up in the great outdoors. As one resident pointed out Monday, even the best golfer hits a bad shot once in a while, and that could mean trouble for anyone in the path of an errant ball.
Still, we agree with the Farmington City Council’s decision to let local golfers swing away.
Flying golf balls can cause damage. So can a baseball. Should pick-up games be banned? Kids playing tag could run into someone and knock him down. Is that out? Go too far down that road and parks start to seem a lot less valuable as spots for public recreation.
We understand the concerns of residents annoyed by golf balls flying into their yards, but there has to be a better way to address the problem. Part of that, it seems, should come down to personal responsibility on the part of the golfers. They need to remember as they’re working out the kinks in their swing that they are in a public place and respect the needs — and the safety — of everyone else around. Maybe that green space at Meadowview Park isn’t the best place to practice driving. Maybe it would be better to work on the short game.
If they make a nuisance of themselves then that’s a situation for police to handle. But banning the activity outright because of the actions of a few people is unreasonable.
These parks are a valuable resource for the community and we need to find a way to share them responsibly. Not by shutting out the activities we don’t like but by finding ways for everyone to use the park together.