Letter | Stevenson Farm is opportunity for open space
April 11, 2011 · 2:49 PM
Many of us have been saddened by the passing of Lewis Stevenson. The farm near the south end of Island Crest Way is a landmark and a reminder of Mercer Island’s former bucolic character.
Mercer Island citizens are rightly proud of their parks. The relatively large proportion of land set aside for parks and open spaces helps to preserve the rural feel of the Island and is one of its great attractions.
Now we have a rare opportunity to add to our treasures. It is well within our means to purchase and preserve the Stevenson Farm. I sincerely hope that a private, public or cooperative arrangement can be made, to set aside this land for pubic use. A few more homes on the Island will please those able to move here, but a five-acre park — even so close to Pioneer Park — would be a lasting legacy and a source of enjoyment to all.
By my reckoning, there are 10,000 households on the Island. A contribution of $500 from each household would be more than enough to purchase the land at its current value. That may seem like a significant amount, but amortized over 10 years, it would hardly be noticeable. Some might lament that converting the land to open space would be passing up an opportunity for increased tax revenues. But by the same math, each household’s share would be small — amounting to perhaps $20 per year.
The money would soon be spent on other things, but an opportunity to buy a parcel of this size should not be passed up. There simply aren’t any more.