n the Dec. 10, 2004, issue, Meg Godlewski noted that the city of Chicago’s director of planning and development had stated that “There are no parks where airstrips are a compatible use” (Can planes and parks share space?)
In fact, an excellent example of such peaceful coexistence is the relationship between the city of Palo Alto airport, and the Palo Alto Baylands Nature Preserve. The preserve surrounds the airport.
The airport has been in operation since 1935, and preservation of the adjacent park lands has been underway since the 1920s. The Baylands Nature Preserve is home to endangered species, and is also a heavily visited recreation area.
As the former senior ranger for the city of Palo Alto Baylands, and as a former pilot, I can attest to the compatibility of having the airport adjacent to the preserve. Pilots have worked hard to deal with any concerns about the impact of airport operations on visitors to the preserve and on wildlife.
Gordon C. Baillie
Santa Clara, Calif.