Formation of group keeps Riverside promise

Those predictions that concern about Riverside Park would not outlive the Nov. 8 vote to save it appear unfounded. Organizers of Friends of Riverside Park, which campaigned against the proposal to sell half the park, on Tuesday announced the formation of the Riverside Park Conservancy. The conservancy plans to continue sponsoring cleanups and events at the park, push for continued improvements and seek grants and donations to help pay for them.

It is a welcomed development.

While this newspaper editorially advocated in favor of selling 9 acres of the park to the federal government to allow expansion of the Coast Guard Academy campus, the voters have spoken. While the sale was rejected by only 19 votes, voters also elected by a wide margin a mayor who made his opposition to selling part of the park a centerpiece of his campaign. Mayor Daryl Justin Finizio has said he is ready to work with the academy to meet its space needs, but not by expanding into the park.

The worst outcome would have been rejection of the sale, followed by a return to the lack of attention and inadequate maintenance Riverside was subjected to in the past. The formation of the conservancy reduces the chances of that happening. It is appropriate that activist Kathleen Mitchell, who led the drive to block the sale, will serve as chairwoman.

As Ms. Mitchell noted, Friends of Riverside said they would never let the park again fall into disrepair and disuse. It's good to see they meant it.

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