We’ve heard a lot lately from the advocates for the failed $2,000,000 Trail to Nowhere concept that it is desperately needed in south Fullerton because south Fullerton is in desperate need of parks. Let’s set aside for just a moment the uselessness of the TtN, so we can think about the bald assertion used as a pretext to build it.
First let’s consider the talismanic mantra. Is it based on realty or is it based on the bland assumption that areas whose inhabitants are mostly those considered minorities? In governmental (and liberal) circles another term for minorities is “underserved communities,” because, it is reasoned, minorities have always got the short end of the stick, and because they need more, they must be underserved. Whether or not anybody feels like they are truly underserved is neither here nor there.
Once the notion of an underserved class of people exists, it is very simple to project the obvious conclusion that parks, being public facilities, are not being provided fairly to the underserved, and therefore those communities are “park poor.”
This train of logic is so superficial that it hardly needs to be analyzed any farther. The key here is to realize that the self-interest of government employees and the heart-felt shibboleths of liberals ignore facts. The former simply want to build new facilities they can “program” while the latter get to patronize the lower orders who need their help to enjoy the pleasures of life.
Here’s the reality in Fullerton. If we draw a line along Chapman/Malvern Avenue dividing Fullerton into north and south – as our council districts do – we see that south Fullerton has the same number of city parks as north Fullerton – 16.
“Wait, Joe,” I can hear some one saying. How can this be? South Fullerton is park poor. I read it in The Fullerton Observer. Well, here they are:
Community/Recreation Center Grounds/Gardens
Pacific Drive Park
Orangethorpe School Park
And of course we must count UP Park and the UP Trail Phase I that the green spacers are so proud of.
There is also a park on Lawrence and Truslow.
The fact is that south Fullerton has lots of parks. And although it’s true that north Fullerton has trails along abandoned railroad right of ways those facilities are available for anybody to use, and in fact most north Fullertonions don’t have immediate access to these, either. And while the City sports parks are north of Chapman/Malvern the folks in south Fullerton seem to have no problem finding them for youth and adult leagues, just as north Fullertonions find the City’s only pool at Independence park – in south Fullerton.
Similarly, the County’s regional parks – Clark and Craig that are in the north – are open to everybody and almost all of Fullerton’s residents need to get in a car to use them.
So next time somebody proclaims authoritatively that south Fullerton in park poor and needs more open space, likely as a matter of social justice ask them if they know how many parks there are in south Fullerton and if they can name them.