Letter: Response to ‘Modern-day redlining’

Published: 01-24-2023 7:00 AM

Kevin Porter’s My Turn “Modern-Day Redlining in Concord,” (Monitor, 1/19) argues the city’s support of Beaver Meadow golf course and recreation on conservation land is comparable to “redlining,” the illegal lending practice where banks deny loans in predominantly minority neighborhoods. I am not familiar enough with Beaver Meadow to comment, but with regard to Concord’s conservation land, the comparison is inapt. Since its creation in 1971, the Concord Conservation Commission along with partner conservation organizations have conserved thousands of acres of agricultural land, forest, and wetlands in Concord, including Dimond Hill Farm, Rossview Farm, Carter Hill Orchard, and Winant and Swope parks. Except to protect water supplies and cropland, this land is open to everyone.

In a survey completed for a 2017 open space plan, 98% of 170 respondents agreed with the proposition that “protection of open space in Concord is important.” Concord residents have overwhelmingly supported recreation on open space land and cited its availability as one of the main attractions for living here. In 2021 the Central New Hampshire Regional Planning Commission completed a study of the Concord trail system which included a public survey in which 519 responses, 490 (94.4%) agreed that the city should be “developing and promoting more trails and trail systems when the opportunities arise.” That the city is implementing what its residents have said they value is not evidence of some exclusionary practice.

Jim Owers



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