Open space, like water, is fixed in amount. Unlike water, open space is visibly disappearing at an exponential rate. Once gone, it's gone, unless, of course, the unthinkable happens - parts of burgeoning rural communities and cities are torn down to reclaim it.
While there are many compelling reasons for a community to save open space, its irreplaceability and value added to community life are vital because of the options saved and passed forward to all generations.
Open space, as the nonnegotiable constraint around which a community chooses to develop, places the primacy of development on reciprocal quality of human relationships between people and Nature. A well-designed system of open spaces determines where buildings and the transportation corridors will be located and thus helps to protect local water catchments.
Water is a non-substitutable requirement of life and is finite in supply. Its availability throughout the year determines both the quality of life in a community and consequently the value of real estate. It behooves a community, therefore, to take every possible measure to maximize and stabilize the quality and quantity of its local supply of water by purchasing such open space as Witham Oaks expressly for the purpose of storing water in the ground, where it can purify itself as it flows slowly toward the wells, aquifers, streams and rivers it recharges.
Will we, the adult trustees of today, rise to a level of consciousness wherein we choose to bequeath to all generations a variety of healthy landscapes, beautifully highlighted with open spaces?
Chris Maser, Corvallis