Sunday, April 20, 2008

Kayaking Healeth the Soul (but doesn't prevent me from ranting and raving)!

Last Saturday, my sister, mom and I went out on the lake at Parvin State Park. Mom and I were in her tandem kayak. Sorry, no pictures from that venture. I took the camera with me, but was too preoccupied with trying to keep the kayak afloat, what with all the laughing and paddling the wrong way... Suffice it to say that a good time was had by all.

After work on Friday, my sister, my friend Pat and I all headed out to Parvin for some much needed stress-relief. Not long after we got out on the lake, my good friend Mr. Swan came up see us.
Hello there, Mr. Swan. We've missed you!
Keep a safe distance from the kayak, Mr. Swan. I've heard you can be mean!
Here is Mr. Swan heading over to visit Pat in her new kayak--isn't in pretty? The kayak, not the swan, although the swan is very lovely, also.
In addition to Mr. Swan, we saw Wood Ducks, Cormorants, Buffleheads, and Canada Geese with little fuzz-ball-sized babies. They couldn't have been more than a day or two old. No pictures - I tried, but it was too dark. Of course there were turtles galore, but I did see one thing I didn't expect to see on the lake:
On the way in, we saw a yellow lab kayaking with his daddy. He had is own life jacket, and was just as calm as could be. He loves kayaking with his daddy! I asked Emma and Tara if they would like to try it. Tara might be fine with it, but Emma would be a bundle of nerves, I'm sure.

Say what you would like about New Jersey, but we have wonderful State Parks. Yes, we are the most densely populated state in the nation. Yes, we have the highest property taxes in the country. Yes, they average $6,800 per property owner — twice the national average. But for many of us who choose to live in New Jersey, an excellent way to escape the crowds and traffic and stresses of everyday life is to make use of the State Park system. It's one of the benefits of living here and paying exorbitant property taxes.

Now after years of irresponsible spending and lining of pockets, the Governor of New Jersey needs to cut the budget. The $33 billion budget. Yes, that is "billion with a 'B'". Where could he come up with some money? I know, come July 1, why don't close 9 State Parks. Ooooh, and make sure little ol' Parvin is one of the ones to close. Closing 9 parks will save a whole $4.5 million. Admittedly, that is a very large sum of money, but it is the proverbial "drop in the bucket" compared to $33 billion. $33 BILLION! Sheesh!

Yesterday, there was a rally at Parvin. After all of the enjoyment we have gotten out of the park system, especially Parvin State Park, you better believe we were there! And so were lots of other people:
They were selling "Stand Up For Parvin State Park" t-shirts, and even some sweet fur-kids got into the spirit of the event.
Look at this little girl. Her name is Emma.
Her placard says "Pooches for Parvins! Woof!"

This sign says it all.


Jennifer Lori said...

I'm so sorry to hear about your park! I hope the protesters win, and that you get to keep it open. Any place that has swans needs to be preserved...that photo of the swan in the sunset is breathtaking- it almost doesn't even look real, that's how amazing a photo it is.

(Not-So) Cynical Gal said...

Great story and photos! Closing State Parks, grrr.

Donna Lee said...

I haven't been to Parvin for years. We are Atsion fans but I can't stand that we have to close state parks. We have some of the most beautiful parks in the world. I wonder why we can't have state employees and teachers pay for their own health benefits? The state pays them now. It would surely save a bunch of money. Everyone else pays for their own health benefits. Closing the parks when the economy is in such bad shape and people can't afford big vacations is just plain stupid.
OK. Now I have to go cool off. You touched a sore spot for me!

Sonya said...

Beautiful pictures, if only swans were nice

Criquette said...

How dare they close such a beautiful place? even though Emma and Tara weren't there, I'm sure they agree with Emma the weiner dog.