Save a treasure

New Jersey is a state of paradox. Within five days, Star-Ledger readers learned about a group trying to restore a part of the Morris Canal in Wharton and the im pending collapse of the Waterloo Foundation for the Arts. The latter group includes Waterloo Village, a restored 19th-century Morris Canal hamlet.

The first story discussed archaeologists' efforts to involve schoolchildren in the rediscovery of a lost lock of the canal. The lat ter story discussed the cuts in funding to maintain the 400-acre village visited by 35,000 students each year.

As a recent return visitor to Waterloo Village for the Geraldine R. Dodge Poetry Festival, I can tell you don't need to be Allen Ginsberg to see that the village has seen better days. Despite the beautiful weather on the first day of the festival -- which saw thousands of high school students enjoying the air of enlightenment -- the sun beat down on two dilapidated bridges apparently held together by baling wire and duct tape.

It's much easier to preserve a treasure we have than it will be to return with schoolchildren ages hence to dig for what we intentionally neglected.

-- Anthony Buccino

The above letter to the editor was published in the Star-Ledger on Sunday, Oct. 22, 2006

© 2006 The Star-Ledger. Used by NJ.com with permission.

Copyright © 2006 by Anthony Buccino, all rights reserved.

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