Trustees right to protect lake

Griffy Lake is for public, not for profit

POSTED AT 12:00 AM ON May. 7, 2001 


Since the cancellation of plans for the proposed Jack Nicklaus-designed golf course near Griffy Lake in January 2000, the future of the water reservoir and public land has stood in limbo. But after 15 months, the issue has finally come to a resolution.

The board of trustees decided last week to create from the land the Griffy Woods Research and Teaching Preserve and the Moores Creek Research and Teaching Preserve. Thereby, the once-jeopardized land has been transformed into the respective natural resource reserves of IU and Monroe County.

After the near-disaster of allowing the use of public land for private entrepreneurship, it is an exhilarating breath of fresh air that the trustees almost unanimously allocated the land for the only logical function it should serve in the first place -- the use of public land to better serve the public.

With the establishment of an area where faculty, students and Monroe County residents can enjoy some of the area's most gorgeous natural resources in an environmentally conscious educational environment, the trustees have supported the necessary community standards of conservation, resourcefulness and a willingness to put Monroe County residents before invading corporate dollars.

The goals of the plan include the feasible use of "natural, field environment for research and teaching," and long-term stability and interdisciplinary study. The opportunity to use this land to teach and learn, to provide an educational atmosphere where University and community might come together and to do it all by simply saving one of the county's most beautiful natural resources is an opportunity that would be illogical and greedy to pass up on.

Furthermore, with the future of Griffy Lake now securely out of the reach of dangerous entrepreneurship, the community that will benefit from the land's preservation should take this opportunity to thank the faculty, students and local residents who protested, campaigned and fought to save the land. Without the voices of these people to remind University and community officials who public land truly belongs to, we might have very well lost one of our community's most valuable natural tracts of land.

The preservation of 446 acres of public lands has created one of the most valuable classrooms present and future area residents can have. The trustees thankfully possessed the foresight to bar these local treasures from ever being misused.


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