UPDATE: A reader asks a good question, now that self-styled environmentalists have blessed ignoring master plans and blowing off public involvement when it suits them: "Wonder how knee-jerk supporters of this easement would have felt about the need for public involvement and planning if the proposal had been for $800K in exchange for two separate motocross playgrounds in the middle of the park?" Of course they'll respond, "That's different," but actually the only difference is that one proposal they like and one would horrify them.
IRONY UPDATE: Here's text of a proclamation issued the same night the council voted to forever bar community gardens and all other forms of agriculture from 200 acres of prime land in Minto-Brown Park:
National Community Gardening Week 2009 Proclamation
WHEREAS, one of the most frequent and best-supported recommendations by health experts is that Americans need to eat more fresh fruits and vegetables; and
WHEREAS, Salem is located in the very heart of one of the most fertile and productive river valleys anywhere on earth, and our soils and growing climate are among the most favorable in the world; and
WHEREAS, fruits and vegetables grown in the soils and climate of Salem provide unmatched flavor and superior nutrition; and
WHEREAS, community gardens help community members help themselves by providing both a fulfilling, enjoyable avocation and an affordable source of superior nutrition without the need for fossil fuels in transport; and
WHEREAS, gardening together in community helps foster stronger ties between diverse community groups, promotes healthy eating habits for a lifetime, and helps support efforts to eradicate hunger in Oregon; and
WHEREAS, the United States Secretary of Agriculture has recognized and encouraged all Americans to celebrate this week as National Community Gardening Week;
NOW, THEREFORE, be it resolved that I, Janet Taylor, Mayor of the City of Salem, proclaim National Community Gardening Week, August 23-29, 2009.
I encourage all residents to take advantage of Salem's community gardens and gardening resources and thank the many Master Gardener volunteers, neighborhood community garden coordinators, and the Marion Polk Food Share Community Gardening program making our community healthier, happier, and more beautiful.
“National Community Gardening Week”
DATED this 24th day of August, 2009