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Thoughts on Laughing Brook

Thank you for your August 21 article supporting the preservation of the "Burgess Legacy."

I worked thousands of hours at Laughing Brook over more than 20 years volunteering in the era that Laughing Brook had it's animal displays. I worked personally with every animal there by either feeding these creatures or cleaning their cages.

I also did many wildlife programs for people at the Hampden site as well as local school visits too. I helped care for thousands of injured or orphaned animals that were brought to Laughing Brook by the trusting public.

I watched the systematic destruction by MA Audobon of a educational facility that benefited adults and children.

I, like the "hundreds of people" you mentioned, have fumed for years over the whole fiasco that has happened at Laughing Brook. This is my first time putting it into written words! Children can go to Forest Park (a great Springfield jewel in itself), but there are no books written about that facility and those animals are in a "zoo."

I have no doubt the animals "shipped out" of Laughing Brook years ago had their life span shortened and their quality of life lessened. Massachusetts Audobon did not think of the animals when they got rid of them, they did not think of the Burgess legacy, and they did not think of the thousands of children and adults that are now deprived of the ability to observe native New England wildlife in their New England habitat. Shame on them!

The only way MA Audobon can even begin to repair some of the publicity damage it has created for itself is to do what Mr. Dobbs has suggested. Look to another party that can save what is left of Laughing Brook.

They better hurry though. I was driving by Laughing Brook last week and there is not much time left to save those buildings. Thank you Mr. Dobbs for speaking for hundreds of us who actually helped make Laughing Brook what it was and thank you for speaking up for the thousands that visited this wonderful property and shake their heads wondering why nobody will stop this slow destruction.

George Stevens

Former animal care volunteer