Tree Preservation at Lake Ridge Park and Golf Course
160 people appeared at the Prince William Park Authority Community Meeting on January 25, 10am-noon at the McCoart Government Building, to discuss the Lake Ridge Park Proposed Driving Range. Most spoke in favor of preserving 3.5 acres of trees, in an area with few remaining open spaces for walking in the woods and viewing wildlife in a natural setting.
The Park Authority proposed to remove the trees in order to build a driving range at Lake Ridge Park and expand the "First Tee" program. Lake Ridge Park is a 72 acre site located in an heavily developed part of Prince William along the Occoquan River (see aerial photo showing developed parcels adjacent to park).
There are 2060 acres of golf courses in the Occoquan watershed, and
1,080 acres of these are in Prince William County. 52% of total number of golf course acres in the Occoquan watershed are in Prince William County, while the county makes up only 40% of the total acres included in the Occoquan watershed. (Source: 2000 Occoquan Land Use survey, Northern Virginia Regional Commission)
Staff Recommendations to the Park Authority Board were developed on March 19, 2003. The Occoquan Representative on the Park Authority proposed expanding the existing driving range to accommodate more First Tee participants, rather than removing the trees as proposed by the staff, after a public meeting on April 5 at the McCoart Administrative Center. Other citizen alternatives developed prior to that meeting included:
The First Tee program already exists at Lake Ridge Park. The
program should stay as it is today and no changes should be made
to the park.
- If the Park Authority determines that they must expand the
program, the Park Authority should work with the driving range
being constructed at the Old Hickory golf course.
If the Park Authority determines that the program must be
expanded, the Park Authority should work with the school system
to determine a location which is optimal to make the program
accessible for "at risk" youth throughout the county, identified at
the primary target audience for the First Tee program.
If the Park Authority insists that the program must be expanded
at Lake Ridge Park, the Park Authority should remove holes at the
existing course and use that area for the driving range.
The Park Authority should pursue a partnership with interested
local environmental organizations to develop and offer a nature
program for "at risk" youth to increase the diversity of Park
Authority programs and better accommodate the interests of all
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