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Letter: With STEM Lawsuit Over, Back to Preserving Open Spaces

Kathy Huffman, president of Save the Environment of Moorestown, says it's time to get back to the business of taking car of Moorestown's open spaces.

To the editor:

As the current president of STEM (Save The Environment of Moorestown), I want to thank everyone who spoke up, put signs out, beat the bushes, etc. to help save the Open Space Trust Fund. One thing I would like to make clear is that STEM was never opposed to improving athletic fields. Our children deserve good fields and lighting. They are our most precious resource. They are our future.

We were opposed only to the proposed source of funding—the Open Space Fund. That said, I hope we can all get back to continuing to make Moorestown a special place. I do want to publicly thank all the STEM Steering Committee members who were courageous enough to take the initiative to file the lawsuit that helped us accomplish this change of funding. I do want everyone to know there were consequences in taking that initiative. We now have lots of legal bills; attorneys are not inexpensive. However, we all felt it was well worth it. If you would like to donate any amount to our legal fund, we would be happy for the help.

Now that the Trust Fund has been protected, we need to take care of all those open spaces. I recently took a hike through the South Valley Woods and it was wonderful. Also this summer, I walked Farrago Farm off Borton Landing Road. These preserved open spaces are real treasures right in our own backyards. I know the Open Space Advisory Committee is preparing a “Take a Hike” brochure for residents. I encourage everyone to take advantage of our little gems, and if anyone would like to join in our monthly cleanups, we sure could use the help. Invasive plants love our open spaces also.

Feel free to contact me at kajer3@comcast.net for further information. Hope to see you at Strawbridge Lake at STEM Steps Out, from 12-4 p.m. Oct. 14. Thank you again.

Kathy Huffman
President of STEM (www.stemonline.org)

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Got something to say? Send letters to the editor to rob.scott@patch.com.

OS Fan October 02, 2012 at 12:25 PM
I was so disappointeed when the lawsuit was dropped. I really thought that a true effort to protect the fund was being made. Now i see that it was just politics. Why is it that the suit was dropped when the town is stll using the funds for things other than buying and preserving land? How can we accept that the fund can be used for rec dept expenses/"maintenance" expenses but not for building fields?
Bill October 02, 2012 at 12:41 PM
You answered your own question. "it was just politics" Mark Hines realized the mistake they made and put an end to it.
beaver dam October 02, 2012 at 01:57 PM
what was courageous about filing a lawsuit about using funds on land that was ineligible and then quitting when the funds are still being used on lands that are still ineligible. Thats cowardly. Is everyone aware the festival this weekend is on those same lands? Talk about a bunch of hypocrites and now they want people to pay for their legal bills
Ed Nice October 02, 2012 at 01:59 PM
Yeah he also realized that they already lost the first part of the law suit with the uses of the trust fund (turf) being legal) and knew they were going to lose the "as such" part of the law suit also. I wish it went to a ruling also so this whole thing could be put to bed and be done with.
Yah Mo B There October 02, 2012 at 02:46 PM
Maybe STEM can hop on this now that all the squabbling is over? http://moorestown.patch.com/articles/recycle-cds-to-make-it-go-round-and-round-91744477 Do the yard signs get recycled? There sure has been a heck of a lot this past year and change.
Ditto October 02, 2012 at 03:20 PM
Are you talking about MSOS lawn signs or stem? I'm not recycling my GNP sign. I like to keep at least one for archives, ESP those who win!
Tom October 02, 2012 at 03:47 PM
The leadership of STEM should be ashamed. They have abused our trust in them only to see it cast aside for political posturing. The lawsuit was brought to bear because we believed that the open space fund could only be used on lands that it acquired only to learn later it is used for all sorts of things on lands that were not acquired Strawbridge lake being one. You can not simply look the other way now that the spending suits your needs if the basis of the challenge is still the primary issue.
Bill October 02, 2012 at 04:50 PM
@Tom, "You can not simply look the other way" Of course they can. Imagine Mark Hines in the debate trying to explain how all that work will now be paid for. And how all the previous funds used (illegally according to STEM) will be paid back to the fund (something the judge alluded to). All thanks to the petty lawsuit brought about him, his wife, and their little gang of supporters that believe the money should only be used as they see fit. His run for office would die on the spot. As it should now anyway.

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