Our state's public lands must stay in public hands
To the editor:
2016 is the National Park Service's centennial. I want to highlight parks' importance.
Massachusetts is home to dozens of public parks like the Cape Cod National Seashore and the Appalachian Trail that runs through the Berkshires. These great public spaces provide opportunities for exploration and family fun. Spending time outdoors provides children health benefits, including helping reduce symptoms of ADHD and lowering stress levels.
But too many of our great parks here in Massachusetts and across the country are threatened. From local playgrounds to the Appalachian Trail to the Grand Canyon, we've seen years of chronic under-funding. Not only are budgets being cut, but there are proposals to mine outside the Grand Canyon and drill near the Everglades. Worse yet, a few extremists in Congress are considering selling off some of our public lands to the highest bidder. The public would be left with even less nature to enjoy.
Thankfully, Sen. Elizabeth Warren supports our public lands. I hope she will do everything in her power to keep our public lands in public hands. We need her to ensure they are well-funded, properly maintained, and protected from pollution and private interests.
Our kids — and their kids — deserve to play in great public places for generations to come!
John Romano, Boston The writer is campaign organizer, Environment Massachusetts.