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Council will write on Robinson

By Erin O'Connor

Staff Writer

AGAWAM The executive board of the Friends of Robinson State Park made a presentation to the City Council on Aug. 7 and two counselors are agreeing to co-author a resolution on Robinson Park that will go to the State.

The resolution will be co-authored by the president of the City Council, Donald Rheault and City Council member Robert E. Rossi.

Members of the Friends Board spoke during "Citizens' Speak Time."

"We have not drafted the resolution as of yet," said City Council President Donald M. Rheault, "This is due to vacations."

Rheault said the resolution will deal with their concerns about the logging in the park.

"So much seems excessive as to what their intentions are," Rheault said to Reminder Publications last week.

Rheault said that once the resolution has been written it will be sent to a few different agencies and the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) will be one of these agencies.

"We would like to put it forward before the DCR has taken any action," Rheault said.

"My family and I utilize Robinson and we were very disappointed to see all the trees that wee marked. for the logging," said City Councilman Joseph Mineo who is also running for state representative for the Third Hampden District.

Mineo said that if the resolution will back his opinions on the park then he will be in support of it.

"It is unfortunate that there is no local control on an issue such as logging in Robinson State Park," said Donna Lago, members of the Friends of Robinson State Park, "Not only does the mayor have no power but the City Council has no power, hopefully the 11 city councilors will have power."

The Board members of the Friends met with Chief Forester Jim DiMaio and David A. Richards, Massachusetts management forester at Chicopee State Park on Aug. 15.

"It was shocking," said Jago because we felt there was pride for them in the cutting they did here {Chicopee}. But the cutting was so severe at Chicopee there were 50% invasives coming in."

Arborist Matt Lagasee fears invasive species will enter Robinson Park if the logging is done. Invasives can be plant invaders to a natural habitat that can destroy the current homeostasis and plant life.

"This is a concern for us at Robinson because we have concerns for invasives coming into the park it is particularly narrow and susceptible to these invasives," Lago said. "I think they {the DCR} are open to new thoughts and new plans in Robinson. Our goals are all the same that we want a healthy park but we are going about it in different ways."

The Friends sited that they are disappointed with the Conservation Commission because they made no comments about the cutting plan as the state proposed. The state did ask them for comments which they assembled for after.

"We wanted them to give one big opposition but they did not do that," Lago said."We have seen invasives that have crept into the Chicopee Park after the logging in the last 17 months."

"I understand what they are trying to do but what they are doing is taking out too many {trees}," Mineo said.

Parties interested can attend Friends of Robinson State Park Walks on Tuesday evenings at 6:15 p.m. for more information.