Sep 18, 2008

By Deborah Blom, Leonard St.
Wed, 17 September 2008

Dear Greg and Ron,

I have a few more questions to add re. the disc golf course.

Can BTown Disc Golf Club control who is playing on the course? If not, should we perhaps not accept their claims from authority ("we would never do something like that!")? Should we not question the relevancy of BTown Disc Golf Club's president's assertions such as (paraphrased) "We don't really ever drink while we golf or --we are lawyers and doctors-- but go somewhere else after the game." or "we all care about the environment"? I am not particularly concerned about drinking in the park and only give this as an example, but a glance at videos of disc golf on sites like YouTube or MySpace certainly show several people drinking while golfing (as does at least one of the articles below). This would indicate that those considering this course, need to get more generalized data rather than listening to what a small group of golfers, those who are motivated enough to frequently drive to Waterbury to play, have to say.

Additionally, several sites on the internet talk about how to safely design disc golf courses (see below) (e.g., don't place holes adjacent to or crossing trails). Has anyone contacted these folks for advice, especially regarding courses where injuries to non-players have apparently occurred (like Lenore Park)? Have you considered hiring a consultant as suggested by the Disc Golf Association (it should be noted that I have no idea what the qualifications are of the person who did design the course; perhaps he does have training)?

Finally, I understand the desire to add to the park's offerings. However, am I right in assuming that we don't want the current offerings to be compromised by the course? Is this being considered? For example, in addition to the safety concerns that have been brought up, folks walking the trails to the south of the tennis courts are usually looking for a sense of solitude and for a short respite from city life. The cutting that has occurred so far makes the homes surrounding the part much more visible and the additional cutting/trampling that will occur will increase this problem. Additional cutting on the other side of the trail, will make the traffic visible and allow more sound to penetrate. Add that to the presence of people talking/celebrating while playing golf and the chance of flying discs entering the path, and the solitude is lost. This is one of the few paths that I know of in the area that is relatively safe but secluded, and it would be a shame to lose it (N.B. to those who say that there are plenty of paths in Burlington: whether you are right or not, I ask you to remember that many folks in the New North End may not have cars or the means or time to ride the bus frequently for recreation).

I ask that you please add these to the list of questions/concerns.

Deborah Blom