Mar 26, 2009

Testimony at Disk Golf in Leddy Park, Working Group, Public Forum

*to see the complete meeting, go to Ch17 website

To: Leddy Park Disk Golf Working Group

Mar. 24, 2009

Lea Terhune, Ward 4 NPA

Lack of Public Consensus. There is no clear community consensus regarding development within Leddy Park. During the process undertaken by the working group the group was advised by members of the Btown Disc Club and heard from a number of its membership advocating for development of a course within the park ( However the working group also received an outpouring of community sentiment in favor of protecting the woodlands in the park and/or opposing the development of a course in Leddy Park.



Parks and Recreation Commission Meeting, minutes of July 15, 2008

  • Bob Whalen recommended conceptual approval
  • Club members asked to occupy “space that is not utilized”, using existing pathways, removing underbrush and saplings.
  • Hanson asked how this would affect people walking on trails (off the path)
  • Ewing asked if there would need to be a lot of clearing of trees (no)
  • Nolfi asked if there would be a lot of open spots (no, as well)
  • Allen asked if any neighborhood outreach has happened (currently in the process of doing some outreach)
  • Hanson/Ewing, motion to approve the concept

Conclusion: The Parks Commission never approved construction of the course, tree-cutting or any other pre-development site work. Parks Dept. acted without authorization, and in so doing they violated the public trust and probably the City Charter as well.


Jan, 12, 2009. Lisa Coven, Parks Dept. staff, to LPDG working group member.

. The group agreed to be responsible for taking information back to the public and acting as their liaisons. . Group members are responsible for representing their wards/neighborhood that they were nominated from. … . I also expect members to report back to their NPA's and even Front Porch Forums.

Working group:

}Ward 3: Harry Wendt: (did not communicate with NPA)

}Ward 4: Pat Kearney: (attended every Ward 4 NPA meeting)

} Joanne Hunt: (attended Ward 4 NPA meetings)

} Matthew Hogg: (did not attend NPA, or communicate with Ward 4 NPA)

}Ward 5: Nick Hinge: (did not attend Ward 5 NPA, or communicate with NPA)

}Ward 7: Dan Herman: (did not attend Ward 7 NPA, or communicate with NPA)

} Greg Jenkins: (attended every Ward 7 NPA meeting)

Conclusion: The only representatives who had communication with their NPAs were Kearney, Hunt, and Jenkins. The other representatives did not communicate with their NPA, do represent their wards in any substantive way, and their votes should not count.

Ward 4/7 NPA Resolution, Feb. 19, 2009

~ Whereas the Parks and Recreation Commission has appointed a Disc Golf Working Group to evaluate the proposal for an 18-hole disc golf course at Leddy Park;

~ Whereas the Disc Golf Working Group has been charged to obtain input from the constituents who they represent;

~ Whereas the Chittenden County Forester, in a letter, dated September 22, 2008, stated, "…it would be hard to make a case that clearing the understory for disc golf (in Leddy Park) is consistent with maintaining long-term forest health or with the existing forest management plan.";

Now, therefore, be it resolved that:

The residents of Wards 4 and 7, as represented by their NPAs, are not supportive of a disc golf course in Leddy Park due to its adverse environmental impacts; and

The Disc Golf Working Group shall include this Resolution within the recommendations it makes to the Parks and Recreation Commission; and

The Parks and Recreation Commission shall direct the staff of the Parks and Recreation Department to work with the BTown Disc Golf Club to identify alternative sites for a disc golf course in Burlington, or surrounding communities.

The resolution was proposed by Nancy Powers and seconded by Michael Crane from Ward 4; proposed by Greg Jenkins and seconded by Phil Lavigne from Ward 7.

Ward 4: support the Resolution 42
oppose the Resolution 0
uncertain 12

Ward 7: support the Resolution 14
oppose the Resolution 0
uncertain 9


Recommendation to Parks Commission:

It is important to build consensus about new uses in a city park. Residents view the park as their own, and view the Parks Dept. as caretakers. Residents expect to be consulted, and we expect our opinions to be honored and respected. Some people may like to ride horses, or shoot skeet, but they shouldn’t have expectations that it is their right to locate their sport in Leddy Park. The attitude of entitlement on the part of B’town Disk Golf Club bothered people a lot. Leddy is a densely used park serving hundreds of families who walk to the park, and use the passive recreation trails in the park on a daily basis, 12 months of the year. Recommend NO BUILD -- disc golf course in Leddy Park.

Lea Terhune

Ward 4, NPA Steering Committee