An odd thing happened the other day.
About two weeks ago, I became tired of viewing the big ruts being gouged into the lawn at the House of Wickersham. The Alaska State Parks system, which owns the property, is repairing the sun porch, a very good thing. However, the state parks pickup truck was making the ruts, which didn't strike me as a good thing at all.
I take my dog on her walk past this house almost every day. After a few days, I called the parks. A small series of automated transfers finally allowed me to leave a message. Nothing happened, except the pickup then parked parallel to the lawn, thus leaving only two wheels to gouge ruts in a new location.
A few days ago, I tried calling again. To my surprise, my call was returned. Now is when it became interesting. A month or so ago there was a notice of a public meeting to discuss the state's decision to pave the House of Wickersham lawn to provide parking. Also, the cottonwood trees on the property were declared rotten.
I was unable to make the meeting, but two people who did informed me it was a good hearing and all was well. Nearly all the neighbors turned out, universally opposed to the plan. Consequently, the lawn was not going to be paved and the cutting down of the trees would not happen. The trees were not rotten.
We were glad to hear it, but that wasn't the information I received from the parks director who returned my call. This person told me not to worry about the lawn; it's going to be paved anyway to provide parking, and the trees are indeed rotten and need to be replaced with a local species.
I could only reply that there are two parking spaces in front of the Wickersham House already and that cottonwoods are native to the Juneau area. He said nothing to indicate any further public hearings, so I thought the Empire would be the best way to spread the word. If you will be affected by this, or simply want to save an historic site, please call the Alaska State Parks.
Dee Longenbaugh Dixon
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