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Letter: Make Reservoir Area a Park

To the Editor:

If you drive to the end of Reservoir Road from Prospect Street in Lebanon, you see a fence with a “No Trespassing” sign in front of the reservoir area. In reality, the wooded area around our city reservoir has at least five or six trails entering it from various surrounding properties, including two from the new 15-acre Jackson Conservation Area that borders two sides of the reservoir property. If you walk or snowshoe on this property now, it is very evident due to the tracks in the snow (including ours) that many folks are enjoying this open area surrounding the storage tank — one of the highest and most attractive areas in the city.

We would strongly urge our City Council and the Conservation Committee to designate this area as a city park and make a legitimate narrow pedestrian-only entrance. (The “No Trespassing” fence already has gaps on either end.) The sign could then be changed to read: “Lebanon City Reservoir Area and Park: For public access; no motorized vehicles of any kind allowed!”

This would not in any way endanger our water supply system, since both the large water-storage tank and pumping station on the property are well protected by their own large fences that prevent access to both critical facilities. The cost would be minimal since the city already mows the entire area at least once per year, and picnic tables could be added for summer use. Parking could be accessible near the turn-around area at the end of Reservoir Road or along the road, or a small parking area could be built in the Jackson Conservation Area that abuts the road.

In the meantime, those of us who know the various trail access locations that do not have “No Trespassing” signs will continue to enjoy the “park.”

Clark and Happy Griffiths