Letter: Darien Parks & Rec officials seek to correct misinformation on town survey

To the Editor:

Since the purchase of the Ox Ridge Field last year, there has been considerable discussion in town over how to use the property.  We are writing this letter to "set the record straight" on a incorrect piece of data that is being bandied about around town, through email chains and stated at public meetings.
The Parks & Recreation Commission Master Plan process included a survey of town residents, including a statistically relevant portion of the survey.  The results were announced publicly at our meetings and are available on the Parks & Recreation portion of the town website.
Community members who are opposed to active recreational use at Ox Ridge field have created a powerpoint presentation that claims on the first page that "Darien residents, as per the town-wide survey, ranks passive recreation as the #1 priority...."   Others have stated this as fact in public meetings, citing the P&R survey.
This is an incorrect statement.
The number one priority identified in the P&R Master plan reads as follows:  "To preserve Open Space/Land Acquisition".    Our consultants analyzed this priority as meaning "To acquire developed or undeveloped parcels currently not owned by the Town of Darien, and to expand the area of lands owned/operated by the Town of Darien/ Parks and Recreation Department, primarily because a limited amount of available lands exist within the Town."
(Weston and Sampson)
There is no mention of the words "Passive Recreation" in the survey priorities.
We hope that those residents who are perpetuating this incorrect information will no longer do so and will update their presentations.

Mary Forman Flynn

Chairman, Darien Parks & Recreation Commission

Pamela Gery

Director, Darien Parks & Recreation Department