In her “On Arts” column published in the Mercer Island Reporter last week (Aug. 23), Genevieve Morton stated that, in deciding to move to the Island in 2006, she and her husband were “attracted to the best in the state schools, parks and fields, the proximity to Seattle and the community.”
She also noted that she has visited the recently-completed Vashon Center for the Arts. As a Board Member of the Mercer Island Center for the Arts, Morton describes VCA as an example for MICA to follow. Unfortunately, MICA is not following the VCA example. The Vashon arts community respected their parks, building VCA on private land, while MICA is trying to take our valued parkland in Mercerdale Park.
Of course Mercer Islanders love the arts. We love Youth Theatre Northwest. And we love arts in our park — witness Music in the Park, Shakespeare at the Wooden O and many other examples. But we also love our parks. And we can — and do —— have both! Like Morton, many of us were attracted to the Island by its parks and rural setting. Once our parks are gone, they are gone forever. We should follow the Vashon community example and build MICA on private land, so Mercer Island parks can still attract residents like Genevieve Morton.