Jay Westerveld’s self proclaimed highly intensive ecological assessments and research expertise apparently overlooked the Warwick Planning Boards last meeting about Pulpit Rock. At this meeting, one of the former owners informed the Board that corn has not been grown there for about 70 years. This is because there is a massive geological shelf approximately six inches below the surface supporting Pulpit Rock rendering the surrounding field suitable only for livestock grazing and hay harvesting, which is all that has occurred there for almost three quarters of a century.
Even a rudimentary assessment would involve the taking and analyzing of soil samples throughout the property. Since there is no mention of these simple tests being done, or any tests for this matter, one can’t help but wonder why or how Mr. Westerveld was “astonished to find an ecologically sterile cornfield” or claim that the field surrounding Pulpit Rock “likely suffers regular soaking with herbicides.” No factual data was presented in his letter.
Surely, if it has not been done already, soil samples should be taken and analyzed throughout the site including the Wawayanda which will be infected by any proposed development. Samples should be taken from both sides and the creek bed from Main St. to Highway County One and the actual factual data, hard copies, should be made available for all to see. The last known study of the Wawayanda ended at Main St.
With all the industrial usage throughout Warwick’s history along both sides of our main waterway this certainly has to be a concern to our governing bodies and their constituents, our environmental protectors, parents with children and our neighbors downstream. Before any development commences along the Wawayanda such studies should be performed by Warwick’s Town and Village governing bodies under the auspices of an independent environmental organization not already connected to this issue.
A Go Fund Me page may be needed to pay for these tests if lack of revenue is claimed.
This is too important of an issue to be entrusted to what seems to be nothing more than one man’s opinion. Putting a hotel next to our Pulpit Rock is akin to allowing a strip club to be put next to a church.