Editorial: Control Camping At Freeman Park

By / Editorials / Wednesday, 24 September 2014 04:00

Managing Editor

After hearing the many comments at the Freeman Park meeting held September 18th (See report on page 1-A) about camping, the idea of reservations and campsites kept popping up.
Many people spoke about limiting the number of people that enter the park, especially busy weekends like Memorial Day, July 4th and Labor Day.
Instead of considering a way to mark campsites in an area that is subject to erosion and change, perhaps focusing on renting a limited number of tents and fire pits would serve as a means to limit the number of people in the park. Sounds like a large undertaking, but consider this:
- Use the figure of 100 tents as an example.
- The Town (or a contractor) would rent a limited number of tents to park visitors.
- The Town or a contractor would own the tents and set them up in advance based on advance reservations.
- No personal tents permitted in the park.
- At the end of the rental period, in order to get back a deposit on the tent, an attendant has to verify the tent isn't damaged and the area surrounding the tent is not littered with trash. There could be a tent deposit and litter deposit separately.
As far as contracting with a company to handle this, there are two companies on the island that already rent beach chairs, umbrellas, kayaks, etc., and they deliver to customers. Another company rents jeeps to drive at Freeman Park. 
If someone wants to put up a simple shade pop-up for the kids during a day at the beach, that would be allowable as long as they were not trying to camp with sleeping bags overnight.
Universities rent camping gear to students all the time:
Here are a couple of examples you can visit online:
There are companies dedicated to this type of business. For example, see this link: http://www.rent-a-tent-vancouver.com. That company will rent tents and camping gear. You can pick it up, or they'll deliver and set it up for your.
Without actual designated campsites, limiting the number of tents is the most viable method to controlling population density in the park. That will help control density, litter and on some level, traffic congestion.


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