Annex should not be home to history museum | October 21, 2011 | Mountain View Voice | Mountain View Online |

Mountain View Voice

Opinion - October 21, 2011

Annex should not be home to history museum

By Brian Schmidt and Shani Kleinhaus

(This letter was sent to the City Council.)

The Santa Clara Valley Audubon Society and Committee for Green Foothills urge the city not to locate the proposed history museum at Cuesta Annex. As this is city property, the city has the option of changing its decisions on the issue.

Our organizations are not opposed to the proposed Mountain View History Museum, but its location should not obliterate a significant portion of Cuesta Annex, for both historical and open space reasons. As organizations dedicated to protecting undeveloped open space — natural habitats and agriculture — we are acutely aware of the loss of both kinds of habitats here in the Valley of Heart's Delight, which has nearly entirely been replaced with developed buildings and to some extent with developed turf parklands.

As both remnants of a historical orchard that could be restored and natural open space that was adjacent to Mountain View farmlands just two generations ago, Cuesta Annex is one of the few remaining pieces of undeveloped inland open space that is not along the Bay. The city currently has the option of bringing back some of the historical orchards that were present at the site, and it can augment and support the natural habitat that is present.

It can even choose to continue allowing in this one place in Mountain View the most ancient of historical practices — thousands of years of children being allowed to wander around at will and dig in the dirt.

Please put the history museum somewhere else. Even right next to Cuesta Annex in Cuesta Park is a far better location, with more acres of turf than natural open space, or elsewhere here in Mountain View, which has many turf parks and only one uniquely free area for children to roam in the dirt with the bugs and the birds.

And while the museum should not be located at Cuesta Annex, if it is located there then it should occupy a minimized footprint and public monies should not be used to subsidize or accelerate this proposal to take away part of the public's annex.

Brian A. Schmidt is legislative advocate for the Committee for Green Foothills in Santa Clara County and

Shani Kleinhaus is the legislative advocate for the Santa Clara Valley Audubon Society


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