Alcohol has no place in public parks | Letter

“Our treasured parks should never be treated and used like our neighborhood bars.”

I am astonished and extremely concerned that the issue of allowing alcohol use in our parks is on the planning session agenda for the City Council. One has to wonder if this has anything to do with the fact that MICA, when it was proposed for Mercerdale and Bicentennial parks, planned to include a café and bar. It appears they are taking this a step further and may be asking for yet another exemption — this time for booze in our parks and open spaces.

As a community that cares, it seems counter intuitive for our council to consider allowing alcohol in our parks, under any circumstances at all. Why would the community want to encourage drinking in public parkland, a practice that could lead to increased noise, damage and destruction of park property, increased trash, crowd issues, underage drinking, public safety, drunk driving, pedestrian safety and accidents, etc., not to mention alcohol is totally counter to the missions of parks and enjoyment of nature and the outdoors. As a community, one of our responsibilities is to show our youth that we can have fun without alcohol — most especially in our public parks — otherwise how can we expect our young people to avoid underage alcohol use?

There are plenty of bars and restaurants on the Island whose business it is to provide alcohol to its patrons. Our treasured parks should never be treated and used like our neighborhood bars.

Robin Russell

Mercer Island

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