The use of public funds for the use for which they are intended is an ethical and legal imperative. Pogonip was purchased through the CALPAW bond, adopted by 65% of voters to preserve open space for habitat and peaceful enjoyment of nature.
However, the City approved a farm for the Homeless Garden Project (HGP) while others wanted golf courses, soccer fields and a museum. It defied the intention of voters at the time. The current proposal to place the farm in the central meadow reopens old wounds and fails to meet the duty to protect Pogonip as an open space.
Even organic farming for a good cause is an industrial activity that disrupts the peace and eliminates the habitat of species like the endangered Ohlone tiger beetle.
HGP can honor its value of “well-being created by vibrant social and natural ecosystems” by continuing its good work on existing farmland as the City should renew its responsibility to restore Pogonip.
– Terrence Willett, Aptos
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