The Oz Natural Area is a magical place, the magic takes place within its wetland area. Here new life is nurtured for things such as frogs, dragonflies and damselflies.
Who cares about such things? We all do because frogs, dragonflies and damselflies eat mosquitoes. The wetland acts like a sponge, filtering and cleaning water as it seeps down into the groundwater to become our drinking water among other uses.
Building a center to demonstrate sustainable building practices and energy efficiency to the Waupaca community is a good idea. But the proposed location of this building in the Oz Natural Area within 75 feet of the wetland would not demonstrate a sustainable practice because of its impact on the wetland.
Any building so close to a wetland interferes with its function as a sponge and filter. The building itself contributes polluted runoff into the wetland.
Swan Park would be a better location for a number of reasons. First, it is the one city park that does not have a lake, a river or a wetland on site. Second, there are a couple of locations on site that could be appropriate for the proposed building. Third, there is plenty of parking available for visitors and school buses. Fourth, there are restrooms on site. None of these are available at the Oz Natural Area.
The Oz Natural Area is part of the River Ridge Trail. The trail was developed to preserve Waupaca’s urban natural features or “greenspace” so the community and its visitors can enjoy them for years to come.
It is naturally sustainable, let’s keep it that way.