How many times do we have to say that Children’s Island will not be a King’s Dominion, with roller coasters or any other similar types of rides? Well, for the sake of your reporters, who didn’t seem to get the message, let me repeat myself. National Children’s Island will be an educational and recreational park and free 13-acre children’s playground. It will not, I repeat not, be a Disney-type amusement park.
The giant roller coaster cartoon you chose to run in connection with your story on National Children’s Island (“Fantasy Islands,” 9/6) was irresponsible. It is these kinds of inaccurate characterizations and misrepresentations that opponents of this project continue to use as scare tactics to try and fuel opposition.
The plans for National Children’s Island have always centered around a low-density, environmentally friendly development. In fact, restrictions were specifically hammered out with community groups and city and federal officials to ensure that this project would not turn into a monstrous eyesore.
The reality is that only five of the approximately 45 acres can be under roof, and most of the island must remain as open space. In addition, Children’s Island cannot open unless a 13-acre, free children’s playground is created.
I commend you for accurately reporting the conditions of the islands and for putting an end to the myth that this site is a pristine wilderness. With that said, we are committed to turning Heritage and Kingman Islands into a beautiful recreational area the District can be proud of. An area that will generate a multitude of economic and philanthropic benefits for our city and for our children.
In the months ahead the actual plans for Children’s Island will be developed and discussed at great length. The entire community will have many opportunities to provide input and to get involved with the decision-making process. This is not a pet project for my personal benefit. It is, and always has been, a project for the entire city’s benefit. One that will bring badly needed jobs, tax revenues, and educational grants and scholarships to the District.
Island Development Corp.