I'm a New North Ender. I live on Woodlawn Road, which is about a five minute walk from the outskirts of Leddy Park. I'm fairly active. I play disc sports in the Burlington area.
I like to think of myself as open-minded. I haven't taken a side of the debate about whether a disc golf course should be built in Leddy Park in Burlington. Both sides of the debate have valid points.
Those who advocate for a disc golf course, including your organization, point out that there's a lot of under-utilized space in Leddy Park. They also correctly state that Burlington parks belong to all residents of Burlington, not just those of us who live in the New North End.
Those who do not support a disc golf course in Leddy Park voice concerns about the environmental impacts of course clearing, disc tossing, and refuse. They also raise issues that an eighteen-hole course will use most of the remaining woodlands inside the park.
Today, we received a flyer from Btown Disc Golf Club outlining your proposal for a disc golf course in Leddy Park. The flyer also contains a section titled "Who is the Opposition". Within that section, you mention "a disingenuous smear campaign filled with half-truths and red herrings" against your proposal. You mention that it "appears that opponents of disc golf have taken a page straight from George Bush and Karl Rove's playbook". You tie these quotes to "a small group of Leddy Park neighbors who feel this beautiful city park belongs solely to them".
Your flyer takes the tone of pitting the rest of Burlington against our neighborhoods in the New North End. Your use of Bush and Rove in your flyer smacks of political baiting in a city that does not need any more of a "five wards versus two" mentality. We're not all not-in-my-backyard obstructionists in the New North End. Some New North Enders don't support disc golf in Leddy Park, but there's not one of us who is fighting to keep the rest of Burlington out of Leddy Park.
While both sides of the debate have criticized the other side on its point of view, this is the first instance of a personal attack that I've seen by either side. I'm not impressed by it at all. Burlington residents aren't swayed to one side or another of any debate by name-calling. Give us all more credit than that.
I'm not saying that I'm against disc golf in Leddy Park. However, after the attack laid out in today's flyer, I definitely will not support any bid for disc golf put out by Btown Disc Golf, whether in Leddy Park or any other public land within the city of Burlington.
Sincerely, Rob Lowe Burlington
Aerial Maps of WALKING TRAILS and Proposed Disc Golf course in Leddy Park
'Woodlands are unused spaces; there's plenty of room for a disc golf course,' says the B'Town Disc Golf Club.
Disc Golf, or walking trails? You be the judge.
The narrow lines on the aerial maps on are woodland walking paths, paths that residents currently use daily, 12 months of the year. The thick blue line is the paved road from Noprth Ave to the ice arena parking lot. The numbers 1-18 and thick white areas in the aerial photo on the right are fairways on the course, originally designed by B'Town Disc Golf Club. Trees have already been cut there!
The red dots on both maps represent a statistically probable impact area [purple] where the disc shaped projectiles fly during play. Any living thing in the red dot purple-shaded area is at risk -- including people, pets, wildlife and trees.
Many of the woodland paths, and the bikepath, pass through red-dot projectile impact areas.
Overlay Mapping of Disc Flight Trajectories
To create a map of the area of the park affected by the proposed disc golf course, the Statistical Model of Boy Scout Disc Golf Skills by Steve West was applied to the course proposed by the BTown Disc Golf Club. This statistical model can be found in the Documents section of LeddyPark.org ....
Methodology First the disc throw patterns from the model were taken from the document and scaled so that they are accurately sized in relation to the original BTown map. The 150 foot mark on the map and in the document patterns was used as a reference for sizing. The patterns were colored red so that they would show up well on the map....
May Karma Crap on Your Doorstep
DOG WASTE ISSUE? By Brendan Bush, Leddy Park Disc Golf Working Group - Ward 5, Catherine St, email@example.com Mon, 01 June 2009
to the owner of the dog who left a giant steaming pile of mess in my newly planted front yard garden today: may karma crap on your doorstep.
to the respectful dog owners who, like me, bag the waste their dog creates: thank you for keeping our neighborhood (and our lake) clean. -Brendan _________________________________
To Brendan [proponent of disc golf in Leddy Park]: crap in your garden IS Karma, your karma. Leddy Park is to many residents what your front yard garden is to you. Time will tell. If you have trees in your yard, or a path from across your yard where you walk from your house to a neighbor's home, a microburst could come out of nowhere, with no public notice, and cut down your trees, or a neighbor kid could break a window with a frisbee or hit you in the head as you are walking on your path.
Now, if the crap in the garden were a dream image, I'd say it represents the crap that Btown piled on the Parks Commission and the Parks Department, as well as on our neighborhoods.
Email comments from 2-17-09
I am appalled to learn of the favorable view of Burlington Parks and Recreation towardthe development of "disc golf" at Leddy Park!In a city whose natural footprint seems to be shrinking every day, Leddy Park is a jewel.The respite it provides people who walk along its wooded paths is priceless and the protection it provides as habitat to the birds and other animals that live there is absolutely necessary for their survival as well as a healthy ecosystem.
I am a New North End resident and am unequivocally opposed to "disc golf" at Leddy Park. It is not the appropriate setting for this type of recreational activity due its adverse impact on habitat and the peace and quiet of this beautiful forested park. I walk there frequently, as do many of my neighbors, and do not want to dodge flying discs! I will be attending meetings regarding this proposal and will be mobilizing my neighbors to protest this absurd use of public park land. I appreciate that you all are willing to put in your time to try and resolve this issue. I am not sure that the Parks and Rec, director and/or commissioners are being honest with you. A very large group of people went to a meeting in Leddy Park and specifically requested that the course not be put in Leddy Park until much more study had been done. What does Parks and Rec do? Typical of their way of doing things they ignored what people said and put together a group of people to figure out how to put the course in Leddy Park – that is not what all those people asked for that night. The Parks Dept. has done nothing except pit one group against the other. They put disc golf people on this panel after saying that no one with a specific interest in the outcome could be on the working group. There is deceit, disrespect for the community and a prevailing attitude that Parks and Rec will do what they want and they will prove they do not have to listen to the community. Where is the leadership of the city, where are the city counselors? Why is this group of city employees allowed to go ahead do as they please against the wishes of the community? Many of the disc golf players do live in Burlington, but there are many more that do not. At the last meeting one man said he loved disc golf, had never been in Leddy Park and didn't know anything about the environmental damage that may be caused. Then why was he there? Why not only listen to the Burlington tax paying community? I know they include disc golfers and that is fine, they have as much right as anybody to express their opinion. People from outside of Burlington should not have their comments be part of the decision making process. I could probably bring in a couple of hundred people from out of Burlington to say they want to keep Leddy Park in its current sate. There was a man a few weeks ago that read all these statements from communities that love disc golf - yet I read dozens and dozens of comments from towns that are sorry they put disc golf in their local park. I am asking you to please request that Parks and Rec listen to the people that are requesting this course not be put in until more work is done to find the appropriate place. Maybe that is within the city of Burlington and maybe it isn't. Please do not take away the small piece of wooded area in the city.
I live in ward 4 and support the idea of disc golf course at Leddy. My feeling is that 18 holes using the entire park, as I understand current proposal, is a bit too much but that scaling it back to either a smaller number of holes or a smaller portion of the park would have my full support. I do live relatively near to the park and use it frequently. I believe it would be a good addition.
I just read the attached FPF article requesting feedback on the Disc Golf Proposal for Leddy Park. I am Not in favor of the Disc Golf Proposal for Leddy Park. The forested portion of the park is enjoyed by many residents as a preserve. There is currently a good balance between the forest, beach, rink, and athletic facilities, (fields and courts). The Disc Golf proposal would severely impact the enjoyment of the forest preserve and completely eliminate the current balance of park users. The 18 holes would be tightly packed into the forested area. The Disc Golf proposal would become the largest activity at Leddy Park as measured by land use, parking use, and foot traffic. The park will be over run by every Non Profit organization in the area holding fund raising tournaments, (Hockey, Soccer, Baseball, Football, Figure skating, church groups, booster clubs, etc, etc, etc); B-Town Disc Golf regional tournaments for fund raising, and local corporations holding Disc Golf Outings and Tournaments for their employees, (IBM, GE Health Care, Fletcher Allen, a multitude of private businesses, etc, etc, etc). There will be significant over use of the forested portion of the park. Who will schedule all this activity? Who will police this activity? Who will clean up? There is currently a good buffer between the community and the park. Park activities are predominantly located in the center of the park. The Disc Golf Proposal would expand park use to the park boundaries. Most courses are within 25 feet of the park boundary. At a minimum, the Disc golf should be scaled back to 9 holes that HUG the interior of the park, Not the perimeter. There are guidelines on the national Disc Golf website for land area required for 9 and 18 hole courses. Leddy's 75 acres is hardly enough for 9 holes and certainly Not 18 holes.
As a resident of Burlington's New North End for 37 of my 49 years, I am writing to you to voice my concern that Leddy Park may soon become a Disc Golf course. I grew up on Dale Road and enjoyed playing in the woods at Leddy for much of my childhood. After living in Downtown Burlington for awhile, I decided I wanted to return to an area that provided the many joys of preserved open spaces, the walking paths, access to the lake, and the wildlife that inhabits the woods. This was the main reason for my return to this area, and I have spent a great deal of my time over the past 16 years walking through the woods and along the lake. I find it difficult to comprehend that this area might disappear so that a golf course can be built. Aren't there many other places in our surrounding area for this? Once this precious and beloved land is cleared for this purpose and trampled by hundreds or possibly even thousands of people, there is no turning back. Don't the people who have purchased homes and have raised their families in this neighborhood have a say in how we wish this surrounding land to remain? I believe that Section VII-11 of the Municipal Development Plan for the City of Burlington mandates the protection of urban forests and includes Leddy Park specifically in this context. In conclusion, I ask that the collective voice of the residents, who live around and enjoy the many features that Leddy Park has to offer, be heard. Thank you for your time.
So you are seeking input on the proposed disc golf park ? I have questions as to whether the city leaders really care about the overwhelming opposition to disc golf in Leddy expressed at the Feb. ward 4 & 7 NPA meeting... as a matter of fact , I'm surprised they are even bothering with the formality of seeking input! Open government, I suppose. I won't be surprised to hear of many more ideas in the near future to bring in the masses, in the interest of generating revenue for the city... you know, with the 60 or 70million dollar shortfall in the Burlington employees retirement fund we've inherited thanks to Clavelle... I'd almost bet this thing has already been decided. I do not support this joke of a proposal and yes I use this great little slice of heaven regularly when I walk with my family to the grocery store or the hardware store or video store or post office or creemee stand or dollar store or bank or ... maybe I'll just have to get in my truck in the future and drive over.
Three Mayoral Candidates Say No Disc Golf Course in Leddy Park
Are you in favor of building a disc golf course in Leddy Park?
Kurt Wright - NO Andy Montroll - NO Bob Kiss - NO (from btown dg website: At a later candidate forum, Bob Kiss appeared to change his stance on the proposed disc golf course in Leddy Park, saying he supports Disc Golf in Leddy Park on a trial basis.)
When the question was asked at the Seven Days Forum, it was phrased differently at first -- 18 hole disc golf course in NNE? This led Dan Smith to say YES, and Kurt Wright to answer UNCERTAIN. When "as proposed" and "Leddy Park" were added to the question, Andy Montroll and Bob Kiss said NO.
Now that more appropriate sites are known, and strong Ward 4 opposition is spreading to other wards in the city due to the objectionable process and forest protection issues, candidates are in general agreement that this is either a bad idea, bad process, or both.
If you object to the process by which the Parks & Recreation Commission made a decision to start construction of a disc golf course in Leddy Park, come to the Ward 4 and Ward 7 Neighborhood Planning Assembly meeting on Sept. 18 (Heineberg Center, sign-in at 6:45 pm). Open Government is on the agenda, and Nancy Powers has secured time for residents to address the process by which the city made the disc golf course decision.
"The Open Government Committee Report" is also on the agenda of the City Council meeting on Sept 22 (7 pm, Contois Auditorium). That's a good time to talk directly with the Council about your concerns about disc golf in Leddy Park, both the process and the decision. The City Council has oversight of the Parks & Rec. Commission.
QUESTIONS and COMMENTS
1. Does anyone know how many acres of public trust urban forest have been committed for this one activity? I believe this is more than a baseball and football field combined. The 18 hole Waterbury course which I have played numerous times seems to me about 10 acres or so. It is made interesting to play by the hazards it contains: rock outcroppings, varying elevations, water hazards, meadow, bog. As I see it the only hazard in Leddy Park are the trees. According to btown's course design it looks like the course takes up all the urban forest in the park.
2. Does anyone know the long term effect/impact the weighted discs will have on the trees per hole? The same trees will constantly be hit/nicked by the hard disc edges over and over again often in the same places, much like a fiberglass hatchett. An urban disc course will attract a large amount of traffic. The only hazard to play around or thru are the trees.
3. A fitness trail with workout stations along it would not have anywhere near this impact and is available for all people to use including people with disabilities. For example, the pull up/chin up station has three different bars set at different levels--low, medium, high. The disc golf course is a major usurping of the last piece of level urban forest park public trust land for a single activity and would make such a fitness trail more difficult to create because of all the flying discs. Also the other funny thing about this is: we're talking about disc golf...why do you need 18 holes? This is an activity not a sport. This is not real golf where I'm sure there is some arcane reason. Why do they need 18 holes for disc golf? What is that about?
toilets, alcohol, butts
MORE DISC GOLF CONCERNS By Bob Hill, Oakcrest Dr, firstname.lastname@example.org Tue, 16 September 2008
1. Toilets: Even if the toilets at Leddy are left open, will people walk the distance while in the middle of their round to access them? There playing partners will wait? Doubt it.
2. Will alcohol and other substances be used during play? yes.
Leddy has not been supervised all summer. Free parking and no supervision has led to increased litter etc. on the beach. The beach has been gross all summer for lack of a better term. I would not bring my kids there. Disc golf will increase usage greatly. There will be more litter, more dog droppings left, public urination, substance use, cigarette butts, etc. This is a bad idea that has not been thought through.
I used the link to the Btown Disc Golf Club site. A friend sent me an aerial photo with the 18 holes superimposed on nearly every corner of the wooded areas of Leddy Park. I generally am more pro-development than most Vermonters. However here we are talking about dedicated parkland and wooded areas that serve to provide an escape from our urban life as well as refreshing breezes and the cooling canopy that wooded areas provide in the summer season. I will admit I use the wooded areas nearer my home more but if I were to live close to Leddy Park and enjoy walks in the woods there, I would be strongly opposed to this development. I do bicycle through the wooded areas at Leddy Park on my way to the shopping center, weather permitting. Chuck Niles' photos of wooded areas in Leddy Park on the Btown Disc Golf web site convince me that this forested acreage should be preserved for more passive activities - hiking, dog walking, even running - which do not require tree clearance.
Thus, I would like to register my opposition to this project, in support of the neighbors close by who use it regularly, and of the future senior citizens housing, as I would want their support if the wooded areas near to my home at Northshore were treatened with partial tree clearing. I believe that disc golf will be a trend for a while and then fade out of popularity. To accommodate it by clearing golf links lanes will forever change the character of Leddy Park.
Ecological, Natural community Perspective
I am in total agreement with the posting by Sue Brooks to FPF on Sept 12 against the proposed 18-hole disc golf course at Leddy Park. On Sept 4th, Angele Court (Lakewood Estates) wrote a letter in opposition to the disc golf course as well. A neighbor of mine has recommended that they completely move holes (#13-15) running east-west in the woods abutting both Lakewood Estates and Leonard Street neighborhoods. I personally think they should move holes (#11-15) out of that forested-area.
I am total opposition to this 18-hole disc course, and will do what I can to stop further development of this course in the woods of Leddy Park. I would like to see them move out of Leddy Park completely and go to some more open agricultural area in the city of Burlington where they wont have so much detrimental impact upon the forested natural community of the park.
I am a natural historian and ecologist by profession and have a great knowledge base in regards to birds, herbaceous plants, understory trees, forested communities, wildlife habitat and so forth. I will be doing my part from an ecological, natural community perspective to halt further cutting of holes in the woods of Leddy Park.
SERIOUS DESIGN CONCERNS
I have played disc golf for over ten years on Vermont courses in Waterbury, Cabot, Bolton, and Sugarbush, as well as in Houston, TX. and Atlanta, GA. I have walked the planned course at Leddy Park and think it will be a beautiful course to play on and become quite popular.
However, I have several serious concerns about the design of this course because it does not take into account pedestrian safety.
My strongest concern is at hole #18 next to the lakeshore. (See map at: http://www.btowndisc.com/i/newmap.jpg) That area is a beautiful overlook of the lake. It also has a popular beach below it. If an errant throw sends a very hard plastic golf disc over the edge it suddenly gains 25 feet of altitude. This means it will fly farther and drop faster. The disc could seriously injure a sunbather on the beach below. I find this unacceptable and believe the #18 area is best left as it is for everyone to enjoy.
My second concern is the Trail through the woods on the south side of the park. Holes #11, 12, 13, 14, and 15 run up and down both sides of the Trail, so essentially the Trail will become part of the disc golf course. Just looking at the Trail tells you it has a large history of use. It is the safest alternative to walking on the road, and offers a sense of solitude (now partially destroyed from cutting). The trail will become very unsafe for an unwary pedestrian. I personally use it four times a week to run, bike, ski, and walk with my family. But I would never take my two-year-old boy through the middle of a disc golf course! Loosing the use of this Trail is too large a sacrifice for my family. And I am surprised the Parks department finds it OK to loose this important pedestrian corridor.
I propose the course be redesigned and move holes #13, 14, 15, and 18 to different locations. There is room in the woods north of the softball fields. There are no major pedestrian paths in there. A lot of the dead wood on the ground could be removed, which has been building to a fire hazard. And this is also the area where I see homeless encampments in the fall. I believe this would preserve the Trail through the south woods so that everyone can continue using and enjoying it.
When I first heard about the golf course I was very excited. I can walk to it from my house and enjoy even more of Leddy Park. I have signed up with other volunteers to help build it, and can't wait to play with friends, family, and neighbors.
But for me the sacrifice of loosing the south side Trail is to high. So I encourage my neighbors and other park users to take an hour of your time and attend the meeting Wednesday night at 7PM in the Leddy Park Arena. I look forward to hearing what the B-Town Disc Golf Club and the Parks Department have to say about this wonderful recreational opportunity.
Please voice your support for a Disc Golf Course that is safe and preserves the use of an important Trail through Leddy Park.
Go see for Yourself
Hi folks, this is my response to the FPF from Parks & Rec, I grew up on a dairy farm, I'm not a trained Arborist, but I sure know the difference between brush, sapling, and a tree! In a direct respond to Melissa Young from Parks and Rec. I have several examples of what our city Arborist Warren Spinner thinks is underbrush. I have the pictures, and have some cuttings left behind, this is not minimal impact(and this is just hole number one). They have cut a 30 foot wide path through one of the few remaining parts of our city that is wooded. I will gladly share my pictures, and the cuttings are at the foot of my driveway. I would encourage people to go look for themselves. If you go to to Leddy Park Arena and take a short walk to the NW part of woods, the destruction is there to see.
How does this fit in with the big picture?
I just walked the whole park to see the clearing that is been done. It is interesting. My perspective will be different then some. I know a lot about clearing woods to make healthy trees. I have worked with the county foresters in Addison County on my personal land. Some/most of the disc holes still have a full canopy. I definitely think giving the disc golf members a chance to present is a good thing. The process and the master plan for the park is what I am concerned about. How does this fit in with the big picture?
Not a Good Idea
This is not a minimal impact sport, go to Waterbury and take a look at the shape of that park, it is tired, it is worn. The Leddy Park course runs up and down the park, and is only 40' ft wide, true; but how do you control a disk, you can't make it stay in the lane. It will go where is it mis-thrown. I have thrown these disks, they are not Frisbees that you play catch with, they will do some serious damage when they strike something, like a person! Finally, I don't wish to get bogged down in the details of what is classified as a sapling, but I have parts of trees that were cut down, and they are more than 3" in diameter. Please do some basic research, don't just listen to the officials that are in charge, I'm no reporter, but I talked, and met with an avid disk golf player so that I could try to understand if this is something that would be good for this mixed use park; I have concluded that it is not a great idea to have an 18 hole course. Greg Jenkins
Neither For Nor Against
I just want to be clear that I'm neither for or against the development of this use in the park. I feel that if processes are in place for neighborhood input and they weren't followed (permitting, NPA approvals, etc. etc.) then the project should pause and gather the appropriate responses / documents / etc.
If there aren't clear procedures for developing or re-purposing city owned land that falls under the jurisdiction of Parks and Rec - then I feel that for the benefits of the disc club and Parks and Rec that this should move forward through the proper channels.
If the NPA feels that there should be a better method for this - then I think the NPA, Parks and Rec, and the city should investigate a way to make this process more transparent - for the next development that should occur.
The softballers and other sports @ Leddy have opportunities - I believe that the disc golfers should have a chance as well. We're not threatening to pull out the backstops and bases and plant more trees... it seems if folks want to take a stand on our 'wild areas' we should be looking at the big picture. And from what I know, disc golf is fairly low impact, doesn't require extensive maintanance, and is a quiet activity enjoyed by small groups.
To sign a petition, -- There is a copy at the end of the Comments and Questions List on this webpage. Or contact contact Ron McGarvey, RMCGAR864@aol.com .
To endorse the Neighborhood Planning Assembly resolution, attend the NPA meeting on Thursday, September 18, 6:45 pm, at the Heineberg Club. The subject of this meeting is Open Government. Agenda.
The issues will be discussed at City Council meeting on Sept. 22, 7pm, Contois Auditorium, City Hall; and at the Parks Commission Meeting on Sept. 23. 5 pm. Location? Call City Clerk's Office -- 865-7000.