Greens for MWRD Oppose Private Easement Request on North Shore Channel

STATEMENT: GREENS FOR MWRD OPPOSE PRIVATE EASEMENT ON MWRD LAND

The Greens for MWRD campaign and candidates oppose the Keefe Family Trust's request for a private easement on MWRD land along the North Shore channel. 

The request, which would allow for the clearance of wetlands and forest to build an access road for a private development project, was first proposed as a permanent road administrated by the Cook County Department of Transportation in 2017. It has since been proposed as an easement for a temporary access road. 

The parcel in question, which is currently leased to the Wilmette Park District, features walking trails, trees and smaller plant growth, and part of the nonprofit Canal Shores golf course. 

Canal Shores golf course & parkland, viewed from across the North Shore Channel

The position of the Green Party is that taxpayer-owned MWRD land should be used for wastewater treatment and flood abatement purposes only. Destroying flood-absorbing green spaces in order to create private development access roads runs entirely counter to the District's public mission. 

"The unfortunate reality is that right now substantial parcels of taxpayer-owned land are being leased to private, industrial clients who actually pollute our waterways," said Geoffrey Cubbage, one of five Green Party candidates for the MWRD Board of Commissioners. "This is just one more request to pave over flood-abating green spaces for the benefit of the well-connected. It should be rejected."

Cubbage added, "There is a real environmental justice component to MWRD land use. Nearly all the MWRD land that's rented out along the North Shore Channel is thankfully used for parks and similar public green spaces, and that use should be protected. On the South and West sides, however, many MWRD parcels are occupied by heavy industry and privately-owned businesses."

The Illinois Green Party is the only opposition party running a full slate of candidates in the November 2018 MWRD election. The candidates and their ballot numbers are:

Christopher Anthony (6-year term) - Ballot #56
Karen Roothaan (6-year term) - Ballot #57
Tammie Vinson (6-year term) - Ballot #58
Rachel Wales (unexpired 2-year)  - Ballot #60
Geoffrey Cubbage ("Bradford Vacancy" unexpired 2-year term) - Ballot #62

For more information, contact Greens for MWRD at campaign@mwrd-ilgp.org, or call 773-809-4547.

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