Save the UMD Golf Course

Green space is just the beginning

University’s Repurposing Proposal for its Golf Course – Round 2 is Over

Herein I address the status of the Maryland Golf Course Coalition (MGCC) network’s “Round 2” effort and summarize the MGCC network’s plan moving forward.

MGCC network’s “Round 2”

At a public forum on July 24, 2018 the UMCP administration outlined a repurposing proposal for a significant portion of the University community’s treasured 150 acre green-space known to us as the championship caliber, eighteen hole University of Maryland Golf Course (UofMD GC). The proposal called for locating a track and field complex, 600 surface parking spaces, and five intramural and recreation fields within the 150 acre tract, and reducing the course to a fourteen hole golf course. This ill-conceived proposal was viewed by the MGCC network as a non sequitur from the start. 

Inputs to the University administration by local and regional political, environmental, and community leaders coupled with those from many members of the MGCC network undoubtedly played a role in convincing the University administration to reconsider its original repurposing proposal. To the best of my knowledge, at the present time there is no intention by the University to follow through with the original repurposing proposal. Therefore, for all intents and purposes, the MGCC network considers “Round 2” to be over.

Moving beyond “Round 1” and “Round 2

In July of 2013 a commercial real estate developer (Greenberg Gibbons) was planning to submit an unsolicited proposal to the UMCP administration that involved improving transportation connections to the campus and repurposing the UofMD GC with commercial development (retail establishments and some form of multi-unit housing). The MGCC was founded by a cadre of University donors and UofMD GC stakeholders to oppose this concept. “Round 1” was born. 

With strong opposition from political, environmental, and community leaders along with that of the MGCC, Greenberg Gibbons informed the UMCP President by letter on October 23, 2013 that “…we have no present plans to submit either our concept plan or a development proposal to the University. Instead, as suggested by several stakeholders, we will devote our energies to further analyzing the development challenges facing Route One and to consider how we might be able to contribute toward coming up with beneficial solutions.”

“Round 1” and now “Round 2” are history.

Will there be a “Round 3?” If so, with our ever-expanding and wide-ranging network of UMCP and UofMD GC stakeholders, the MGCC will be vigilant and well prepared to uphold our Mission Statement.

“The Maryland Golf Course Coalition (MGCC) seeks to preserve and enhance the eighteen hole University of Maryland Golf Course as a green-space with the highest standards for environmental quality, natural beauty, and the preservation of native species and habitats. It supports efforts to make this valuable resource more accessible to the broadest possible University community. It also supports efforts that use and enhance the golf course to generate value for the University and surrounding communities while maintaining the highest standards for green-space preservation. The MGCC will oppose any efforts that compromise those standards.”

In closing, I extend a hearty “thank you” to those who have been supportive of and involved in MGCC network “Round 1” and/or “Round 2” activities. Our tireless efforts have paid off. Rest assured that you will be kept informed of any future developments of interest to the MGCC network.

Respectfully,
Norm Starkey
Chair, Maryland Golf Course Coalition (MGCC)
UMCP alumnus

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