LETTER: Dog park has no place at Boothe Park

Letter-to-the-EditorNEWTo the Editor:

One location under consideration by the Stratford Dog Park Subcommittee for building a one-acre dog park is smack-dab in the middle of Boothe Memorial Park and Museum’s scenic East Meadow.

The entire site of Boothe Memorial Park and Museum, including the land and all of its original buildings is listed on the National Register of Historic Places by the U.S. Department of the Interior.  This special status must be respected.  

Before it became a park in 1955, this land was used and occupied by the Boothe family as a homestead and residence, continuously since 1663.

In their wills, David and Stephen Boothe revealed their intent to leave their land and buildings to the Town of Stratford for use as a public park.  They wrote of their vision for this park, as follows:

“We have enjoyed picturing in our minds the manner in which it could be laid out and beautified, so that it would be an attractive and restful place to which people could come and enjoy its extensive views, scenic beauty and pleasures.”  The wills of the Boothe brothers must be honored.

Stratford was given a wonderful gift by the Boothe brothers, which has been enjoyed by our residents for decades. Boothe Memorial Park and Museum is a unique, valuable historic asset for the town. It is a major tourist destination, supports educational programming, and is a venue for many public events and activities. It is the responsibility of us all to preserve and protect it.  At this moment in time, we are its stewards.  We can be good stewards, passing it along to the next generation as we found it, or we can be bad stewards, allowing its character and beauty to be eroded.

This park is not just a tract of land to be parceled off to accommodate various special interest groups.  It is an historic site and a museum, which was left to the Town with a vision for its use, and, for all these reasons, a Dog Park has no place at Boothe Park.  

Virginia Harris

President, Friends of Boothe Park

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