Friday, July 11, 2008

Alcohol in The Woodlands Texas Park System

This commentary is intended to be an adjunct of a proposal to outlaw alcohol beverages in the park system of The Woodlands.

The Woodlands community has been concerned about an issue with violence in one particular park in Grogan's Mill. At the first July meeting, the WCA board discussed the issue. A proposal is being considered to eliminate alcohol from the park system to mitigate the risk of future violence and crime in our parks.

Although I do not condone excessive alcohol consumption, I do have a position that we should not outlaw its consumption in our park system. Our community parks are for the general public. We have several levels of parks that should be considered however. The neighborhood parks for children should not have alcohol, but I am unaware of any related problems in this respect. In the village parks, many people enjoy having a beer, especially in the summertime. That alcohol is consumed with BBQ prepared on the grills and in general,in very normal family and friend gatherings. People fishing on the ponds enjoy a beer, just like they do elsewhere. Picnics will often be accompanied by alcoholic beverages, including wine. This is an amenity which many people can and do enjoy. I would like our parks to attract all of our residents and be comfortably used as they are intended.

A more palatable solution might be to focus on the human behaviors at the parks which is the real issue, not the consumption of beverages. Drunkenness should not be allowed, just like it is not allowed on the streets. Public intoxication is something that law enforcement deals with regularly. This might be a more acceptable solution to everyone. What is really needed is a way to enforce a set of behavioral rules on property belonging to The Woodlands.

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