To the Editor:
As a resident of Westchester County for over 40 years, I was extremely disturbed to learn that the county spending plan for 2012 proposed by County Executive Robert Astorino includes the closing of six county nature centers among them the Edith Read Sanctuary, Marshlands Conservancy, Lenoir Preserve, Trailside Museum, Croton Point Nature Center and Cranberry Lake Preserve.
The value of these centers to Westchester is inestimable. The hands-on nature programs and lectures they offer on wildlife and science are important educational tools for children and adults.
In addition, the centers serve as recreation, photography and research sites as well as clean and beautiful refuges for all our residents.
In these difficult economic times, free or low cost educational programs and well-maintained trails are needed more than ever.
Without curators and staff to protect wildlife and plants we can expect garbage and vandalism in the parks. There will be loss and injury to animal and plant life.
Very sadly, the lack of care means the loss of years of planning and research which has gone into creating areas of biological diversity and natural growth.
Westchester is blessed with beautiful beaches, woods and open areas. For these reasons it has always been attractive to homeowners and potential homeowners. Westchester is well known as a lovely area for families.
We owe it to our children and to future generations to maintain our green spaces and our wildlife and to leave areas of beauty for them to enjoy as we enjoy them now.
Frances Ginsberg, Ph.D.
Rye, New York