Save the UMD Golf Course

Green space is just the beginning

Friday, August 16, 2013

Friday, August 16, 2013 6:24 AM
Friends of the University of Maryland Golf Course…good morning.

Thank you for being a Friend!

I am writing to provide an update to the note I sent on July 9.  Please recall the attachment to that note, i.e., a letter dated July 8 that the President of the University of Maryland, Dr. Wallace Loh, sent to Mr. Brian Gibbons, CEO of the commercial real estate developer firm Greenberg Gibbons.  In that letter, Mr. Gibbons is asked to decide whether or not to submit a formal proposal to the University of Maryland “to improve transportation connections to the campus and to repurpose some of the University golf course.”

Over the course of the last six weeks, a subcommittee of the Friends [the Maryland Golf Course Coalition [MGCC)] has been actively reaching out via face-to-face meetings and written communications to Dr. Kirwan (the Chancellor), Dr. Loh, members of the Board of Regents, local and state politicians, local community leaders, local business leaders, and others to outline why the University and neighboring communities value the course as not only a premier recreational venue for students, faculty, staff, its members, and guests…but, as importantly, as a valuable green-space.  The MGCC has produced the attached one-pager to highlight the attributes that make the course so dear to us.

What’s next for the MGCC?  Our efforts are intensifying.  We now have a website/blog … .  (And yes, it is a work in progress!)  We are scheduling more face-to-face meetings, e.g., one is scheduled later this month with Governor O’Malley’s Chief of Staff.  We are continuing to hone our message and preparing a media package, a presentation to the Board of Regents (not scheduled yet), and more content for the website.

How can you help?  I encourage you to reach out and express your views to those folks, like those mentioned above, who you view could help influence the decision makers.  Express why you feel the course is a valuable asset to the University community.  Also, when you visit note the “blog” feature, wherein you can post a comment.

Has Dr. Loh received the formal proposal from Greenberg Gibbons?  Not to the MGCC’s knowledge …HOWEVER…through our fact-finding and face-to-face meetings with local politicians and others who we consider to “be in the know”… the skids are being greased for a potential fast-track approval.

What about the recent press coverage of the UofMD’s Athletic Department’s financial struggles…as the UofMD has moved to the Big Ten Conference?   Is there a tie-in with Dr. Loh wanting to “repurpose the golf course?”   I leave that for you to form your own opinion.

Thank you for your support and for your personal efforts with regard to this urgent situation.


Norm Starkey
2013 Chair, Friends of the University of Maryland Golf Course; Maryland Golf Course Coalition

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