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Lone Elk Park is a West County treasure people don't want to lose

Lone Elk Park is a West County treasure people don't want to lose

by Mark Schnyder

KMOV.com

Posted on November 11, 2011 at 11:34 AM

Updated Tuesday, Nov 5 at 8:11 PM

(KMOV) -- After hearing about all the disappointment over the talk of possibly closing Lone Elk Park (in Valley Park near I-44 and Highway 141) to save money in the county budget I wanted to go check it out.

I did on this beautiful Friday morning.  In 20 minutes I saw a deer, some bison, geese and a couple of people horseback riding.  As you can see in my pictures, this is a really neat place.

While there I asked a couple of people if they were aware of the County Executive's proposal to close the park to save money.  They were.  

One man who was about to go on a hike with his wife told me, "I don't think the park should be a bone of contention about finances. I think the park should be kept open for people to enjoy. That's why they were developed for to begin with. And if funding and financing is a part of the problem maybe they should start charging for the parks."

He said when he goes to parks in other states he's used to being charged a few bucks to help maintain the park.  He'd have no problem doing that here at Lone Elk Park either. 

I also found a woman with several kids.  She was equally passionate about keeping this park open. 

"We have children who grew up in the city and most of them unless they come out here and take a ride are never going to see these wild animals. And I can understand if they need to close some parks where there's playgrounds. We have lots of those around but we don't have anything else like this," she told me.

There's an effort on facebook to get people out to rally before the budget hearing on Tuesday, November 15th in front of the St. Louis County Government Center in Clayton.

The meeting is at 6pm.  The rally to save Lone Elk Park begins at 4:30.

Mark Schnyder is a reporter at KMOV-TV.

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