February 4, 2009
Dear Member of Parks & Recreation Disc Golf Working Group,
I am writing to offer my thoughts regarding the proposed Disc Golf at Leddy Park.
I have lived in Burlington for the past thirty-six years and feel very fortunate to have such beautiful parks. I have a degree in Plant and Soil Science and Environmental Studies and an ongoing interest in the environment. In the past, I worked with Warren Spinner on special projects as a volunteer and then as a contract and seasonal employee. I respect the hard work Warren does and that of Park Department employees who number a few but who have the awesome responsibility of maintaining hundreds of acres of heavily used parkland with dwindling resources. I have some idea of the pressure the Department must be under and therefore I appreciate Mr. Gross’s search for creative ideas that will bring in needed resources. Disc Golf could be a great idea but I believe the selection of Leddy Park is inappropriate for environmental reasons.
- The woodlands at Leddy are not just patches of derelict land but instead the land acts as a buffer for the lake. While I agree that the woodland is not in stellar condition now, it could be. At a time when we need to be actively restoring woodlands along the lake, I question the wisdom of establishing a Disc Golf course at Leddy that would do the opposite.
- Disc Golf would undermine the health of the trees in this environmentally important area by damaging roots, bark and making the soil surface less permeable to water.
- Soil compaction leads to the creation of rivulets. Rivulets caused by compaction carry undesirable runoff quickly into lakes and streams. Conversely, soils that are not compacted act as a filter, allowing pollutants to percolate down into the soil before reaching the lake.
- At a time when we should be considering redesigning and ‘greening’ the parking lot at Leddy, a popular disc golf course could put pressure on parking at Leddy. More cars bring more pollution to a lot that is already too close to the lake.
- DPW recently received a grant to tackle the issue of urban runoff more effectively. They are hiring a person specifically to work on this issue. I wonder if there has been inter-department communication regarding the proposed Disc Golf course at Leddy?
- Noise is a real concern for neighbors whose homes are in close proximity to the course.
- Safety – Discs move at high speeds. Given the mixed use of the Park, I wonder if other users can be kept safe?
- Parking - pressure on adjoining neighborhoods and commercial lots could easily become an issue. Historically, users of Leddy Park have parked in adjoining neighborhoods and commercial lots to avoid Park fees.
I hope that you will consider looking for an alternative site in Burlington for Disc Golf that will not compromise the limited woodlands we have that help to protect the lake.