We cannot stand by and allow any organization—be it a developer or conservation group—to purchase any part of the country club land at any price. This land is priceless. It should never be sold and instead remain owned by the town.
Firstly, Woodbridge residents deserve to know how magnificent this land that we pay for is. It hasn’t been maintained for years, so many may not know how breathtaking it is, or even that it’s there! Being there is a gift that country club members enjoyed exclusively for years, and now that we own the land, we should be able to do the same. If the town took a small percentage of the land along Johnson Road (from Ansonia Road to the pond) and maintained it for walking, socializing, or even just sitting on a bench by the pond, we would all—young and old, as there are lovely flat portions as well—benefit. There’s no comparison between this land and the empty field at the corners of Beecher and Center Roads that residents currently use.
Secondly, it is short-sighted and myopic to consider this asset in terms of how it might fix issues we are having right now, be they budgetary, zoning, etc. Owning land like ours is an asset to protect for the future. What might Woodbridge and its residents need in 100 years? We have no idea. We can’t anticipate the future, but we do know that once the land is sold, it’s gone forever. As one potential developer of another valuable piece of Connecticut land recently said, “We intend to…make sure we do something that future generations will enjoy.” Indeed! In our case, however, we need to act for ourselves and by ourselves, for our future selves. Keep the land and find solutions to current issues another way.
Lastly, Woodbridge is special—we as residents know this, and thanks to a recent New York Times article, more now know as well. These 155 acres of land are special. Yet there’s nothing special about bulldozing it in favor of suburban sprawl.
We must protect what is ours—what we’re currently paying for yet prevented from enjoying—for now and for the future.