Hundreds petition to transform local golf course into full-fledged park

Photo by NBC33 Staff
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POSTED: Wednesday, May 8, 2013 - 5:30pm

UPDATED: Wednesday, May 8, 2013 - 7:49pm

Hundreds of people are petitioning to change BREC's City Park Golf Course into a more generalized park for the surrounding area.

“We've walked there for years, wondering what the full potential of City Park could really be", stated advocate Brian Jones. "It’s underutilized.” 

Bryan Jones heads Spark in the Park, which is a committee that wants to see that 100-acre golf course transform into a more family-oriented BREC park. An online petition, spearheaded by Spark in the Park, has over 700 people that want to change the City Park Gold Course into "Central Park”. 

However, those petitioners are facing some opposition.

"We were looking forward to bringing our grandbabies here to teach them how to play golf,” said Baton Rouge resident and golfer Pamela Lancaster.

Lancaster loves the City Park Golf Course - not just for her enjoyment, but for the opportunities it provides as well. She, along with other golfers, say this is a great place to teach beginners the basics without breaking their budget.

“I think our senior citizens and the younger people who can’t afford to go to a regular course have the opportunity to bring their children out and teach them how to play golf,” noted Lancaster.

Jones says the petition isn't meant to start a debate; instead, he believes it to be the first step to start a conversation.

“Baton Rouge has come along way in the last 10 years. We've made a lot of progress, and we want to continue that progress," said Jones.

Locals golfers like Lancaster say no matter what, she will do what she can to keep the course open, so she can pass along not only her clubs to future generations, but tradition as well. "My son and I learned on a course like this years ago," stated Lancaster.

BREC's superintendant told NBC33 today that they have no intention of turning the golf course into a park anytime soon. The organization will hear the public’s views and ideas over the next year or so about how the land should be used.

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