Seminary Woods is too high a price to pay (Response to JSOnline Editorial "Cousins Center: South Side Vitality, January 6, 2009)
The MJS editorial, “Cousins Center: South side vitality,” mentions but dismisses environmental concerns about Seminary Woods. How did the editorial board make a decision about those environmental concerns without even trying to speak to any of the environmentalists who have raised the concerns?
Like many people, the groups that have been working to purchase Seminary Woods and place it in a conservancy so that it will be protected forever were interested to learn last summer that Cardinal Stritch University planned to purchase the Cousins Center and turn it into a south campus. We were prepared to welcome Stritch back to the neighborhood, and were hopeful that the university would be mindful of environmental issues surrounding Seminary Woods.
However, in mid November, Stritch revealed that it also plans to purchase the 84-acre We Energies land to the south and west of the Cousins Center and adjoins the Seminary Woods proper. The We Energies land is a brownfield. It contains coal ash that has been capped and buried. Because the cap cannot be broken, that land was deemed “undevelopable.” Now, Stritch plans to put at least five athletic fields, bright lights, stadium seating, parking lots, roadways and a field house on this land.
The plan is not acceptable. The damage to Seminary Woods is too high a price to pay.
Kathy Mulvey, President
South Shore Park Watch