Many of us in Idyllwild are concerned about the snow visitors from off the Hill. I am president of the Big Cedar Glen Property Owners Association and we have particular and personal concerns.
Marsha Kennedy’s efforts to control snow visitors are appreciated. However, sending them to the Nature Center park creates problems for us locally. Many of our property owners in Cedar Glen live on the border of the Nature Center park. If snow visitors are directed to the park, they could easily trespass on our properties, leave trash and otherwise violate our property owners.
Parking in the Nature Center park is limited and these visitors park on Highway 243, carelessly leaving cars halfway into traffic lanes and allowing passengers to exit cars and run into the highway. If any one of us were to hit and possibly kill a child who was running into the highway, it would be a terrible tragedy and one that would stay with us forever, no matter who was at fault.
It is alarming to think of an influx of snow visitors into the Nature Center park with their careless attitude and trash. Pine Cove and Fern Valley residents have been terrorized by these people, and while we have had some visitors play in the snow in our neighborhood, so far this has been limited.
We urge Ms. Kennedy and the Town Crier to not include the Nature Center park as the playground for the snow visitors. We will be meeting as a POA board to see what we can do to keep these people out of our neighborhood.
In response: The Snow Group formed in order to pursue possible short- and long-term snow-visitor solutions for our community. At the moment, we are looking around to see what is at hand, what can be used in the short-term, right now. On the website, Riverside County lists the Nature Center’s features; one of them is “snow play.” The center also has parking and public restrooms (no one is suggesting that more be added, or that concessions be offered).
There is a conversation yet to be had with the county regarding staffing to handle the visitors. Directing snow visitors there is admittedly not a long-term solution. But it’s what is at hand and what can be used immediately.
Nothing the Snow Group can come up with for the short-term is perfect or can please everybody. Patience and forbearance are appreciated. However, the reality of the situation is that any long-term solution could take several years, and with the safety issues we experienced last winter, the population on the Hill can’t wait that long.
Editor’s note: The Town Crier has not endorsed the Nature Center park or anywhere else as a snow-play area.