While supporting the city of Waterville leasing land to the Alfond Center for a hockey and skating rink, I would like people to reconsider the location of this rink. (“Waterville council approves leasing land to Alfond Youth for ice skating rink,” Sept. 15, 2020).

The current proposal is the land adjacent to the pool which is in a flood zone and most likely would necessitate removal of three massive white pine trees. It is my understanding that this plot was suggested because of its proximity to the Alfond Center.

As someone who frequently walks on the Messalonskee trail, I have observed robust animal and critical bird life in these trees, particularly migrating warblers, such as the pine warbler and palm warbler, as well as the ubiquitous chipping sparrows throughout the summer and the many delightful squirrels and chipmunks that call these majestic trees that reach to the sky their home throughout the year.

I suggest locating this proposed ice rink a couple of hundred feet away, in the grassy area proximate to the boat landing and small parking lot, that is also owned by the city.

I think this area would still be close enough to the Alfond Center for easy access while also protecting these majestic trees. The city could relocate the soccer playing field that is now there to the site that was proposed for the ice rink and also relocate the garden plots in that area as well, where they might benefit from more sunlight. I see this as a win-win proposal for people and nature.

Diane Weinstein

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