Westchester Lagoon disc golf was the topic of a meeting Wednesday evening. Anchorage residents told city officials what they think about plans to shut down the summer activity.
Officials of the city's Parks and Recreation Department were at the Lidia Selkregg Chalet at Russian Jack Springs Park and heard public testimony on the decision. Westchester Lagoon's disc golf course was closed after complaints from the public about drinking, drugs and people leaving trash behind on the course.
An online petition with more than 1,600 signatures asks the city to reconsider that choice. Disc golf players pitched ideas to help improve the course and possibly eliminate some of the problems.The ideas include having biweekly clean-up days and maybe fundraisers.
City officials said they wanted to make it clear that the major reason for closing the park was not the drinking and trash concerns, though they said those were factors. They said the major reason was the need for rehabilitation at the park, which they claim has been buried by the press covering the story.
Parks & Recreation Dept. director John Rodda told people at the hearing "no offense, but the press has the opportunity to use whatever they want, but the fact of the matter is, we've been down there, we looked at the environment, it needs to be taken care of, that's first and foremost."
After Rodda's comments, Channel 2 News reviewed the city's written statement about the disc golf closure. In a press release issued late last week, the city mentions terms like "safety conditions"... "user conflicts"... and "deteriorating park atmosphere" in the first paragraph. It isn't until midway through the press release that the city talks about repairing the park with new topsoil and grass.
Email Rebecca Palsha