The Meridian Star
Reject Bonita Lakes location for sports complex
I urge everyone to reject the Bonita location for the proposed sports complex. It's a great project, but choose another site!
Dr. McGrew has picked a highly-utilized and beloved area, which is a main horse trailhead and access area for bikers and hikers as well as horsemen from all over the state. So many people come to Meridian for ag-center events, horse shows, trail rides and family trips just because of the trails and natural terrain there.
Many of the most popular routes he ignores are not on the official Bonita map, but have been heavily enjoyed since before the mall and the ag-center were built.
In addition, the terrain is extreme, with steep hills and hollows, old growth timber, and creeks which are both irreplaceable and completely unsuited for a large flat endeavor. The environmental impact to the watershed is massive, and probably will be challenged.
Bonita Lakes Saddle Club, with its broad membership across the state, calls on bikers, hikers, boaters, joggers and all who love Bonita to help save this natural treasure.
Again, we are NOT OPPOSED to the sports complex - just NOT AT BONITA!
Can we achieve it?
We want to first thank the Meridian Public School District superintendent and its board members for allowing the NAACP, The Boston Red Sox World Series champion hitting coach Ron “Papa Jack” Jackson Baseball Foundation and Real Life Junction, Inc., the opportunity to come before them at their recent school board meeting.
The Promised Neighborhoods Community Reform Grant funded by the U.S. Department of Education was presented to them and the public. The (RFP) request for proposal displaying five areas of concern the (DOE) has centers around safe communities, healthy children, better parental involvement, technology and being school ready was clearly expressed in our proposal. I advise the public to look this grant up and formulate your own opinion as to if this will work here in our beloved Meridian.
The leading concern from the DOE is stated in the applicant’s letter; “If poverty is a disease that infects an entire community in the form of unemployment and violence, failing schools and broken homes, then we can’t just treat those symptoms in isolation.”
They point to a pattern of concentration, targeting our (4-14 year old) grade school children; centered on giving all community 501c3 certified nonprofits organizations a cohesive pattern of collaboration and potential funding opportunities to serve and meet these community needs. It was not mentioned at the meeting, but we can also employ 60 percent of Meridian High School students, ages 15 and above, with job opportunities to work with this grant. Thus, redirecting motives, time and energy into giving back to generations where they came from!
Our next move is to go before the city council, county supervisors and Meridian Housing Authority Board to present our community efforts to help in getting this grant approved. Ultimately, we would like to bring together a (CAST) model Community and Schools Together; members of the MPSD (preferably MHS Wellness/Athletic Departments), City of Meridian Park Services and the Meridian Housing Authority; all serving the same child from time to time, but unfortunately seemingly going into different directions; to sit down at the table to get on one accord!
Once again, thank you Dr. Taylor and Chief Reed for installing reformed practices, polices and procedures when it comes to bringing in outside local law enforcement to handle inside school issues. If this pipeline did not exist, we can all assure ourselves now, it won’t exist. If you would like to work with this initiative, contact the local NAACP Branch for more information.
NAACP Community Education Reform Division