Stuart Pledge, spokesperson for the Friends of Jackson Farm, can't understand why a public park is carrying the burden for water issues at both ends of the property.
The historic Lower Jackson Farm is currently being excavated at the top end for a retention pond, which was part of the land swap agreement when it was turned over the District of Maple Ridge for a public park in exchange for allowing development on the Upper Jackson Farm.
But Pledge said he doesn't understand if the water flow from development above is dealt with on the public land why water issues from development at the bottom of the farm - a proposed 30 homes - require an acre and a half of land also from the public park in the form of a bioswale.
"In both cases the public park has to take responsibility for the water," Pledge said.
At a public hearing on July 17, Pledge made his case to council against putting the retention pond on the property arguing that since the developer is working with the adjacent gravel pit, it could be placed elsewhere and not on the Jackson Farm park property.
Pledge also argued against the retention pond going on the Jackson Farm as it would involve cutting down 100-year-old black locust trees that were "valued by early pioneers," planted on homesteads, and used for fence posts or where other strong, rot-resistant wood was needed.
"Removal of any of these trees will degrade the heritage value of the Jackson Farm park," Pledge said in his submission to council.
The Lower Jackson Farm was donated to the District of Maple Ridge as a park in exchange for allowing the Upper Jackson Farm to be developed for residential use.
Maple Ridge council will be dealing with what will happen to the Jackson Farm park this fall.
The Friends of Jackson Farm would like to keep it as pastoral, citing its historic significance to Maple Ridge.