By Ian Lamb
Tuesday, July 17, 2012
For close to a year the Charlottesville Department of Parks and Recreation has been working to create a plan for what the eastern side of McIntire Park will look like following the completion of the Meadow Creek Parkway.
The plan Charlottesville City Council viewed July 16 featured an improved Dogwood Vietnam Memorial and a relocated skate park. In addition, it moved the wading pool from its current location and added a soccer field.
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However, many of the comments shared during the meeting centered on the park’s inexpensive golf course and the proposed botanical gardens.
“Golf benefits just a few hundred people a year, while passive parks and educational uses of a botanical garden might use this space a thousand times,” said city resident Elly Tucker.
The renovation of the park calls for the golf course to be removed from the park by 2020, but makes no explicit plans for relocation. To many, losing the public course would be detrimental to the community.
“I encourage you to find a place for inexpensive golf and youth golf before you force it out of McIntire,” said Susie Hoffman, a city resident whose son plays at McIntire through The First Tee program. “This would be a great loss to the community.”
Organizations such as The First Tee of Charlottesville use the course to teach skills and values to community youths through golf. In response, some at the meeting recommended that Meadowcreek Golf Course at Pen Park be made more available for student programs and affordable golf.
“The Parks Department and maybe some community members should get together and talk about using Meadowcreek Golf Course in a different way,” suggested city resident and former mayor Virginia Daugherty. “There could be a day or two … when the rates are lower. We pay for other things for our low-income community and we can do that too.”