Open letter: Tell the governor you support a great park at La Plancha

A rare chance to tour the historic train station is this Saturday. Photo: David Stansbury

Jack Robinson of Gran Parque La Plancha A.C. has asked us to publish the following, and we urge fellow expats to support this worthy project with your signature.

After campaigning for a great public park in Mérida’s La Plancha district for three years, it appears likely a park will be built. But will it be the lively 60-acre (24 hectares) park locals and expatriates want, with extensive native tree plantings, sports fields, biking and walking paths, and restored mampostería buildings dedicated to culture, education and Yucatán’s modern industrial history? Or will it be a smaller and less interesting version of the iconic city park proposed in the Master Plan study prepared by experts from UNAM and UADY?

This nonprofit will send the respectful letter below to Yucatán Governor Rolando Zapata outlining some of the reasons many expatriates support a great 60-acre park as proposed in the Master Plan. You can sign the letter in-person or send an email message authorizing the use of your name.

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IN-PERSON SIGNATURES AT:

Hennessy´s Irish Pub: Tuesday, July 11 and Wednesday, July 12 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Mérida English Library: Saturday, July 15, during regularly scheduled hours, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Robert Abuda Salon: Saturday, July 15, during salon hours, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

ELECTRONIC SIGNATURES

Send your signature authorization and local address to granparquelaplancha@gmail.com

With sincere thanks,

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Gran Parque La Plancha, A.C.


THE LETTER

Lic. Rolando Zapata Bello
Governor, State of Yucatán

July 17, 2017

Dear Governor Zapata:

We want to congratulate you for enlisting experts from UNAM, UADY and CINVESTAV to prepare the impressive study Proyecto: Plan Maestro La Plancha, Mérida 2016. As expatriate residents of Mérida our intention is not to interfere in the politics of our adopted home. However, we enthusiastically support the creation of a park in La Plancha and, recognizing the importance of tourism and retired residents to Mérida’s economy, we offer our observations on some of the many benefits we anticipate:

  1. Following the guidelines of the Plan Maestro would create one of the most unique and exciting parks in the Americas: extensive tree plantings and botanical gardens to highlight Maya herbal traditions; renovated mampostería buildings and an expanded railway museum to celebrate La Plancha’s modern industrial history; bicycle and walking paths and alternative energies to promote recreation and public health and protect our environment. Together, these features would cement Mérida’s status as one of the world’s most beautiful and livable cities.
  2. As homeowners, we pride ourselves on helping to preserve this wonderful colonial city. Building a large and forested park in La Plancha would deliver the jobs and investment required to rescue much of the historic center’s neglected east side.
  3. A great park in La Plancha will contribute to the success of Mérida’s new international convention center by encouraging convention visitors to travel with their families, increasing hotel occupancy rates and the average length of visits. These successes will trigger a variety of unique opportunities for commerce, medicine and education: centers at UADY devoted to recreational and park design and the development and application of alternative energy sources. Research facilities, seminars and therapeutic centers devoted to the Maya herbarium. International cultural festivals, athletic competitions and conventions for railway enthusiasts.
  4. Finally, businesses pay enormous attention to quality-of-life considerations in making decisions about location. Mérida is often considered too remote, too hot, and woefully short on recreational opportunities for families. A world-class park in La Plancha would encourage a dramatic revision of Mérida’s image among national and international companies.

Governor Zapata, we recognize the potential this park holds for Yucatán because visionary leaders in our countries are rapidly and successfully transforming decaying industrial sites into exciting urban neighborhoods. Thanks to your leadership, this decades-old proposal for a public park in La Plancha is finally taking shape. We urge you to complete the design work on this 24-hectare park — based on the recommendations of the Plan Maestro — so that Mérida’s residents can enjoy what we believe would become one of Yucatán’s most celebrated landmarks.

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Respectfully,

__________________

 

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