We understand that these are historically demanding fiscal times and that tough decisions must be made. Cutting funding for historical bedrocks in the community however is a dubious way to mark these times.
Many of us choose to live in Westchester and pay significantly higher taxes because of our precious parks and the services they provide. De-funding this primary income-generating source will impact all the Westchester towns who rely on Park and Museum visitors.
The Pound Ridge Reservation’s Trailside Museum is a historic landmark, with a museum and educational center with a well-organized and well-funded friends organization. This Museum within the Pound Ridge Reservation must be preserved and supported for the people of Westchester County.
Museums like this provide a benefit that is complex to quantify like any long-term investment with multiple secondary income flows. Museums give our towns a sense of place and perspective. They anchor a town much like a Town Hall, Library, or Historical Museum and house the comprehensive history of our local environment. Our museums help us identify with and love our town and respect our collective history. They are also sources of economic productivity. The programs offered by Trailside draw visitors from the tri-state area into an engaging connection to nature, to our past and to the present.
With so many competing interests for the precious dollar during this tenuous economic position we must take a definitive stand to preserve our Parks, our Museums and institutions that define our towns. If we do not protect these, one by one we will be dismantling our townships, scattering to the wind our history and rewriting the story of our towns which braved revolutions and depressions into a county that caved during a recession. By eliminating Pound Ridge Reservation’s Trailside Museum we are destroying a historic landmark and a vibrant intimate community epicenter, which was built during the Great Depression.
Please Honorable Westchester County Officials, take this opportunity to protect our cultural and historical resources. Include funding to our precious Westchester County Parks and Museums into the 2012 Budget, and please keep the Westchester County Parks, trailside Museums, and Art Programs open to the public. After all these critical services draw a diminutive percentage of the County Budget.