King County answers to Friends of Hicklin Lake concerns

Recently, we were among those CC’d on a letter from Friends of Hicklin Lake to the King County Parks Department. The letter voiced numerous concerns about the park, particularly regarding its use for disc golf. Christie True, who leads Natural Resources and Parks, has responded to the same mailing list with inline answers to concerns voiced by the citizens’ group (which are in bold, inbetween her answers):

Thank you for your e-mail sharing your concerns about the use of King County’s Lakewood Park and Hicklin Lake by the disc golf community. As you mention, Lakewood Park is a public park and is open to all users for both passive and active recreational activities.

As a general overview of Lakewood Parks and its may features and uses, you may know that it is unique in that it is the home of the only disc golf course (established in 1989) in the King County park system. In addition to the public disc golf course, Lakewood Park has three picnic shelters, a playground area, restrooms, walking path around Hicklin Lake and is the new home of the Technology Access Foundation Learning Center (TAF).

Lakewood Park is used by the local community on a daily basis, as well as the site of community picnics and events, church groups, family picnics and reunions. Many of the community events are not charged for the use of the park. The new concession at Lakewood Park sells disc golf equipment as well as snacks and beverages and is open to the public. The Parks and Recreation Division (Parks) receives revenue each month from the new concessionaire and also receives revenue from user fees for picnics and other activities.

I would like to take this opportunity to respond to each of your concerns which I have provided below:

Is politics controlling reality in our local park? That seems to be evident, where one group of players is allowed to take over a public park for their benefit. Their web site notes “every nook and cranny of the park” has been utilized.

From our observations we find the following:

This King County public park is Lakewood Park/Hicklin Lake, located in the heart of White Center, and has been turned into a single sport arena, remaining a “park” in name only.

Lakewood Park is used by the local community on a daily basis, as well as the site of community picnics and events, church groups, family picnics and reunions throughout the year.

The disc golf community has given countless hours to volunteer projects over the years. In addition, they work with the local school district offering disc golf classes to the middle and high school students.

King County personnel defend, with lame embarrassing excuses, both of the illegal activities which occur in connection with this sport and the environmental damage to the park landscape.

Many of the illegal activities that occur at the park cannot be resolved by Parks alone as we do not have legal enforcement authority and must rely on other King County agencies, such as the King County Sheriff and Animal Control, to enforce King County regulations.

The exchange continues ahead – again, what’s in bold is what was voiced by Friends of Hicklin Lake:

EXAMPLES:

King County’s own ordinance prohibits alcohol usage in their parks, yet this illegal activity flourishes in Lakewood Park. Many, many photos of empty alcohol containers found in garbage cans were sent to the County, and their response: “they are not proof of illegal alcohol usage.”(Suggest they check with Sheriff Deputies that stop once in a while at the park and require the players to empty their alcohol containers.)

New and additional ‘NO ALCOHOL’ signage was installed in 2012. Parks staff has and will continue to work with all park users, including the disc golf community, to reinforce communication and understanding of the park rules, including the no alcohol use policy. As mentioned in previous correspondence with you, Parks staff does not have legal enforcement authority and cannot issue warnings or citations – only the Sheriff’s office has that authority. We have asked that sheriff officers use Lakewood Park to complete paperwork whenever possible to provide a presence and provide another opportunity to educate park users about alcohol use and other park regulations. This request was made most recently in August of this year.

With Cascade Middle and Evergreen High Schools located next door, plus the new TAF learning Center located in Lakewood Park, there will be additional students frequenting this facility… what a poor image this illegal activity creates! We are branding on young minds the idea that laws do not require obeying, and that breaking them produces no consequences. King County needs to take action to resolve this illegal activity. Why are the sports members free from prosecution?

Again, Parks staff do not have legal enforcement authority and cannot issue warnings or citations – only the Sheriff’s office has that authority. We do plan to transmit an updated Park Rules for consideration and approval by the King County Council in the next month. One of the new regulations, if approved, would allow Parks staff to ban park users from the park(s) for illegal activities.

There are a number of disc golf members that are volunteering with the local schools to teach disc golf to interested students. This not only sets a good example but teaches new skills to the youth of the community.

King County Parks posted signage at this park states dogs must be leashed, yet the players ignore the message and let their pets roam freely while they shoot frisbees, and we have never seen a player pick up their dogs waste.

New and additional ‘NEW DOG ON LEASH’ signage was installed in 2012. Parks staff does not have legal enforcement authority and cannot issue warnings or citations to dog owners that allow their dogs to be off leash – only Animal Control has that authority. We have requested patrols by Animal Control Services. You are encouraged to request additional patrols as well. The link is: http://www.kingcounty.gov/safety/regionalAnimalServices/GetHelp.aspx. You can also contact Animal Control by email at 206-296-PETS (7387) or email pets@kingcounty.gov.

THREE so called practice baskets were placed inappropriately at the main entrance to the park. As these frisbees travel at high speed and long distances they provide a dangerous condition, not only throughout the park for unsuspecting visitors that can be blindsided by flying frisbees (yes, this has happened), but by visitors just entering the park, perhaps for the first time. These need evaluation as they are an eyesore and at a very poor location that requires relocation.

We believe are referring to the putting area. The putting area is for disc short tosses at low speed. Children are safe in the play area. Plans are in place to move the putting area and place bark around the baskets (purchased by the disc golf community).

King County obtained a grant of over $181,000.00 for a vendor to modify this Disc golf course causing many unsound environmental problems. The local community was not notified of this usage of taxpayer’s money. (Discovered by Public Disclosures)
This course change allows frisbees to be thrown over both the lake and detention pond waters. As many of these discs then fall into the water, the players use devices similar to rakes attached to ropes that drag the lake and pond bottoms, stirring up contaminates from the floor. Riling up the pollutants is not helpful to water or water creatures, and also causes the vegetation on the shore to be trampled. We watched one golfer repeatedly drag his line through emerging irises, breaking off stems in the process. He refused to move over even a few feet, even when the plant damage was pointed out. County personnel insist this procedure is not harmful. Wrong!

A Community Partnership Grant (CPG) program grant was awarded to Discovering Open Spaces, a non-profit, community-based organization. The disc golf holes near this area have been closed for a restoration project that includes the removal of invasive species along the shoreline and replanting with wetland and native plant species. The restoration project will add a buffer between wetland and lake and will prevent all park users from damaging sensitive areas of the park.

Oh yes, and the vender was rewarded with a location for his business in the former park life guards office, rebuilt for him at taxpayer expense so he can sell his merchandise.

The concession stand interior required improvements to be usable for revenue generating activities. In addition, the restroom and shelters were also updated at the same time. The concessionaire and organization that received the CPG grant was not the same. The CPG grant was awarded to Discovery Open Space, a nonprofit, community-based organization. The concessionaire is Chainbanger, a for-profit business that sells disc golf equipment as well as food and beverages at Lakewood Park. With the installation of new concessionaire, vandalism has dropped off significantly in the park.
.
Concrete benches were constructed next to tee off pads and do not follow the parks theme in any shape or form. Sitting on a wet, cold chunk of concrete (that looks nothing remotely like a natural rock) is not the most desirable experience.

The concrete benches are vandal resistant and provide an additional amenity.

Placing these concrete structures between two mature trees, which cover the trees roots system and placed within inches of the tree trunk will shorten tree life, though the County claims it is harmless. When these mature trees die it will be too late. On the east side hill a large amount of dirt was piled over the root system of a mature tree, to level a concrete tee off pad that was added on top, with concrete steps leading up to the tee off pad.

The soil covers less than 25% of the drip line area and is not a threat to the trees.

Along with the 18 concrete tee off pads there are 41 areas for basket locations. When vegetation gets trampled down, and the soil compacted, basket locations are moved to further destroy vegetation at another site. With all this concrete poured it causes more drainage run off into the lake.

Friends of Hicklin Lake are very concerned that King County allowed this damage, by turning this park into a sports area. One of the parks own mandates is preservation of landscape integrity, and this mandate was not upheld. The decision needs to be revaluated.

Wild animal habitat in the park has been destroyed by placement of disc baskets in their home territory, driving the wild animals to seek shelter into the neighborhood resident’s yards.

The disc golf club brags on their website of the wonderful job of “trail building” their group accomplished into the dense brushy areas, stating that “no one ever went back there before…why would they?” They failed to realize that the brushy, undeveloped area was home to possums, raccoons, and other wild life which belong in the park but have now fled into the neighborhood.

The trail building you reference above did not take place at Lakewood Park. We believe this was done at the City of SeaTac’s SeaTac Park.

There are numerous wild animals in the park including birds, squirrels, raccoons, possums, and even a coyote.

Seattle Pacific University students came to the park at White Center CDA clean up day and also at the start of their new school year, picking up several bags of litter and removing truck loads of invasive weeds both times. We found over 50 cigarette butts at a tee off pad next to the children’s play ground, and at the #1 tee off pad one hundred forty + cigarette butts, plus numerous candy wrappers and lots of bottle caps were removed.

What is concerning during this time frame: several players were on the premises but not one player offered to help. (The students later remarked “Sure is a lot of trash around here!”) There are park users who live by a certain ethic: leave an area better than you found it. Other park users apparently feel it’s the Park Departments job to clean up any mess they leave behind. We have seen first hand which ethics this particular sports group espouses.

We applaud and thank the Seattle Pacific University students for the many hours of volunteer service to King County Parks. Volunteers are an invaluable asset to the parks system. In 2011, a total of 8,360 volunteers provided 58,350 hours of service during 430 events benefitting more than 50 sites throughout the Division’s vast system of parks and trails.

Many disc golf participants volunteer at the park and help in the removal blackberries and ivy.

Another exclusive perk: the County built a special foot bridge for the players to cross the inflow creek because they were too lazy to walk around a short distance, and the Park personnel grew tired of the trampled marsh grasses… (Guess who paid for that bridge?)
Back in the year of 2008 King County Program Manager asked Friends of Hicklin Lake for suggestions to improve these park facilities, and we contacted people in the community, took a survey, and suggested three options. Only one was chosen. That option was to build a safe, usable path around the south side of the lake. Today the path is only half finished, unlevel, too narrow, very poorly constructed, made of gravel, and its completion is not being pursued to date; lack of funding is the excuse.

The footbridge was built at minimal costs using some existing materials. The new footbridge has helped to avoid further erosion from of this area by all park users. It’s is a great new location to bird watch from.

Our local public parks should be maintained and designed for all citizens to enjoy, not just a few sport enthusiasts who blatantly destroy plants and landscape which were not their personal property to degrade, and who, for unclear reasons, are granted special dispensations.

Lakewood Park is open to all park users for both passive and active recreational activities and is used by the local community on a daily basis, as well as the site of community picnics and events, church groups, family picnics and reunions throughout the year, bird watching, walking, jogging, and disc golf.

Allowing all of these conditions stated above to persist, which have systematically degraded a public park, is not acceptable to the “passive” parker users, those of us who enjoy walking in the park to bird watch, photograph plants, and otherwise appreciate the (previously) natural surroundings. Parks should remain a RESPITE from man-made, concrete and metal objects, not a temple to them! The current status needs re-evaluation and review, with input from local citizens solicited by King County personnel.

Again, Lakewood Park is open to all park users for both passive and active recreational activities and is used by the local community on a daily basis, as well as the site of community picnics and events, church groups, family picnics and reunions throughout the year, bird watching, walking, jogging, and disc golf.

Thank you to North Highline Unincorporated Area Council (NHUAC), White Center Community Development Association (WCCDA), Technology Access Foundation (TAF), and all the people involved that helped change King County Director of Dept. of Natural Resources and Parks (DNRP) opinion on the pollution of Hicklin Lake waters, to start the process of cleaning up the contamination.

All the above local organizations wrote letters on our behalf to make water quality improvements next summer to Hicklin Lake, and we need their help once again to reclaim the use of Lakewood Park in general, for everyone in our community.

We need letters of support written by as many community members as we can get: those of you who use Lakewood Park, enjoy its natural beauty, and are disappointed with the way the Parks Dept has allowed one group to over run it. And those of you who share our frustration at the way in which sports club members are allowed to do anything they please with a park that belongs to us all. Please send your letters of concern to Joe McDermott, Christie True, and Dow Constantine.

As always, thank you for helping to make our community a better place for all.

We appreciate your continued involvement in Lakewood Park and we hope that you and other groups and community members concerned about the future of Lakewood Park will continue to be active in your involvement and use of Lakewood Park.

Sincerely,

Christie True
Director
Department of Natural Resources and Parks


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20 Responses to “King County answers to Friends of Hicklin Lake concerns”

  1. The letter regarding disc golf at Lakewood Park from the “Friends of Hicklin Lake” is based on speculation and innacurate information. I appreciate the factual answers provided by Christie True regading the use of a portion of Lakewood Park by the disc golf community.
    There are going to be a few bad apples in any group of people and I am angry that the entire disc golf community is being represented as a bunch of hooligans. I wholeheartedly support increased enforcement regarding drug, alcohol and animal issues in the park.
    That being said, I think that the disc golf course is a worthwhile use of the park. Disc golf is an inexpensive sport, can be played by any number of people, and the disruption to surrounding areas is minimal. In the half-dozen different disc golf parks I have visited I have always been struck by the quiet serenity and tranquility of the space.
    I expect that without a specific area set aside for disc golf, there will be a rise in ad-hoc courses. As these courses would not be planned out by an expert it seems likely that the danger level would be much higher to the general public. The environmental damage would be distributed over a larger area rather than a confined space.
    As the parent of no-drugs/alcohol, non-smoking, disc-golf-playing teen, I appreciate the availablity of the disc golf course at Lakewood Park for him to get some exercise in the fresh air. I value the opportunity for him to socialize with other players. Many of them are admirable young adults.
    I believe that the Dept of Natural Resources and Parks is doing an excellent job of managing the park as a place for all members of our community to enjoy.

  2. Shouldn’t this part be bolded? It doesn’t read as part of Ms. True’s email:

    Thank you to North Highline Unincorporated Area Council (NHUAC), White Center Community Development Association (WCCDA), Technology Access Foundation (TAF), and all the people involved that helped change King County Director of Dept. of Natural Resources and Parks (DNRP) opinion on the pollution of Hicklin Lake waters, to start the process of cleaning up the contamination.

    All the above local organizations wrote letters on our behalf to make water quality improvements next summer to Hicklin Lake, and we need their help once again to reclaim the use of Lakewood Park in general, for everyone in our community.

    We need letters of support written by as many community members as we can get: those of you who use Lakewood Park, enjoy its natural beauty, and are disappointed with the way the Parks Dept has allowed one group to over run it. And those of you who share our frustration at the way in which sports club members are allowed to do anything they please with a park that belongs to us all. Please send your letters of concern to Joe McDermott, Christie True, and Dow Constantine.

  3. thanks, have fixed.

  4. Dick Thurnau,Marcia Wollam Says:

    P.Laine states that our letter is “based on speculation and inaccurate information.” Sorry, but our information is gathered first hand, by watching and listening to golfers at Lakewood Park.
    “There are going to be a few bad apples in any group” may be true, but all the more reason for the rest of the golfers to try and mitigate their effects, by picking up litter (including all those wrappers and cigarette butts around tee-off areas), approaching their fellow golfers who let their dogs run free, and having the guts to tell beer-drinking golfers that they’re damaging your brand. We don’t see any of this happening, so yes, the bad apples are the ones whose effects are long-lasting.
    You say that you are always “struck by the quiet serenity and tranquilioty of the space.” This was certainly true prior to disc golf, but is no longer the case. After all, “Chainbangers” is named for a reason, and it fits.
    You also state that without a specfic area set aside for disc golf, “environmental damage would be distributed over a larger area rather than a confined space.” It’s interesting that you are so cavalier about environmental damage, as though its just an expected consequence, and apparently it’s just fine with you to “confine” all the damage to Lakewood Park! I’m afraid you accidentally revealed the truth about disc golf.
    The bottom line: any public park should not be subjected to non-natural installations that REMAIN AFTER PLAYERS HAVE GONE HOME. Other users, whether sketchers, photographers, walkers, picnickers, or birdwatchers, LEAVE NOTHING BEHIND WHEN THEY LEAVE. Not the case for disc golf! It’s equipment is infringing on the experience of others.

  5. I have only played disk golf once since I moved to White Center. It was fun and I hope to get to do it more often in the future. I am glad it is an option in our neighborhood. I am very lucky that I live near three great parks: Lakewood park which offers disk golf, Steve Cox park which has tennis, baseball, and basketball, and White Center Heights park which is a wide open grass field for free-playing. I don’t mind that some of these parks have special uses which I am not interested in. I like the diversity of choice.

  6. Dick Thurnau,Marcia Wollam Says:

    To JM:
    The reason you don’t mind “other special uses that you’re not interested in” is because those other uses don’t impact yours. But that’s not true in reverse, of disc golf. The installations, which to many of us distort the natural look, are not only present 24/7, but passive users are expected to “give way” to disc golfers as they “play through”. Bottom line: disc golf should be on private land, not public. We don’t see 18 holes of “regular” golf trying to claim our park, so why should the general public feel any differently about a disc golf club?

  7. Dick Thurnau and Marcia Wollam have perhaps confused the concept of a public park with a “protected wilderness area”. Public parks in urban areas are meant for humans to use. Picnic tables, shelters, fire pits, hiking trails, wooden and concrete benches, restrooms, play areas, baseball fields, tennis courts, community gardens, off-leash areas for pets, and more. I can not walk through the ball field at Steve Cox Memorial park while a baseball game is in progress so should I protest that baseball infringes on my use of the park? Of course not. Different parks have different amenities to offer to the public. We are all free to use the parks that suit our needs.

  8. Dick Thurnau,Marcia Wollam Says:

    To P.Laine: No area around here has been “wilderness” for a very long time, so it’s pretty clear that Lakewood Park is an urban park, to be used by humans.
    But each park we have is distinct, with its own size restrictions and landscape qualities, and we need to be careful before we automatically allow everything and everyone to bring in their specific activities, especially when an activity involves permanent installations.
    If a gun club wants to install a firing range in Lakewood Park, should that be allowed? How about archery? Or regular golf? When is an activity just one too many?
    Lakewood Park is too small a park for disc golf. Disc Golf has effectively overrun the park and impacts other users too much.
    Steve Cox Memorial Park was built with sports in mind.
    That was not the case with Lakewood Park. It had a serenity not found elsewhere, now compromised.
    In addition, there has been increased use of alcohol,off-leash dogs, and littering, especially around tee-off sites. Whether this is from a few individuals or many is irrelevant: the end result is the same.
    Destruction of the landscape in Lakewood Park has been accelerated at an alarming rate, with the advent of disc golf.Trees are cut to increase “access” to baskets, trails are bushwhacked without authorization, eliminating natural ground cover, and grassy areas are denuded, with compaction of soil.
    Somewhere along the line, the park itself, as a landscape, has been degraded. Though an urban park may be viewed as something humans can use, must we destroy it in the process of using it?

  9. Dollarsfordollars Says:

    ..I live very close to the park. There are pro and cons to the issues. The golfers I have met are very friendly and it is amazing at the skills used to get a “hole in one”. When I walk my dog in the open areas, they players will wait til we pass through, yes, it seems confining to have to be careful of flying discs, but one good thing I have noticed, that since the spread of the various disc “baskets” that players play through, (sorry not familiar with the lingo), there have been little to none vagrants that used the bushes for camping out as well as less troublemakers.

  10. Dollarsfordollars Says:

    …wanted to add, could we have more park benches installed at the east side of the lake, one was removed of the three that were originally used.

  11. Dick Thurnau,Marcia Wollam Says:

    To Dollarsfordollars:
    There is certainly truth that when there are more regular users in the park, there is less vagrancy. Vagrancy and other crimes were not much of an issue years ago though, when the lake water was clean and the lake thus a focal point for many community activities. With pollution of the lake, came warning signs about the water, and a subsequent drop off in park usage. That’s when the opportunity for vagrants occurred. But if the water were cleaner again, it’s possible that the park could be somewhat restored to its former usages, and vagrancy would once again not be an issue, even without disc golf. We’re hoping that the Parks Dept will install more than one Floating Island in 2013, to begin a process of restoring the health of Hicklin Lake. Utilizing Floating Island Technology is something that Friends of Hicklin Lake have been advocating since the beginning of this year. The Islands are man-made wetlands, which would replace the wetland that once existed next to the lake, where the west parking lot now stands.Paving over the wetland was a terrible error, and accompanied with other bad drainage decisions through the years, Hicklin Lake has been subjected to multiple pollutants. To us, the lake is more than just a “water hazard” for disc golf, and is too important to remain so contaminated. So far, we have not seen evidence that disc golfers have concern for the water quality of the lake, or for the park landscape in general; they are just interested in promoting their sport.
    Disc golf is not compatible with anyone who wants to wander the open spaces of Lakewood Park to look at plants, animals or insects, with or without a magnifier, binoculars or camera. Those “passive” users also include some in our group who recorded natural sounds in Lakewood Park, something nearly impossible now with regular chain banging noise. (This kind of recording was always impossible in SeaTac park, due to extreme aircraft noise, but Lakewood Park was serene enough to allow it.) But it’s been given up now, due to disc golf. We don’t think the golfers in general have any idea how much their sport has impacted other users, because they are unaware of what some of these uses were. But then, the public was never asked by the Parks Dept either, how they felt about disc golf, before it was imposed on the park.

  12. For the past six years I have enjoyed walking my dog through this park on a regular basis. I don’t play disc golf and don’t have any real interest in it, but I have never minded that the park is full of disc golfers. They have always been very polite to me, pausing in their game and saying hello as I walk through. This is true even if I don’t stick to the paths and accidentally walk straight into their game. I can only think of two times in the last six years where someone accidentally threw a disc toward me, and they immediately started yelling to alert me and then apologized profusely. As a woman, I am not comfortable walking alone in many parks because of past experiences running into scary people when no one else was around. I love that I can feel safe walking in this park because I know there are lots of disc golfers around. And I love that this course draws people from around the city to visit White Center. I am glad that this park has a disc golf course and think the benefits far outweigh any negatives.

  13. Dollarsfordollars Says:

    …this is a beautiful lake and thank you for time and effort in restoring this park. I would like to add that I find the TAF an eyesore in that it grossly juts out into the park area, not to mention the KC Housing that is taking over the beautiful green space of the area. I would like to see perhaps an off leash dog site, although most dogs I have observed are quite friendly. I only wish more federal funding would have been used for our park instead of building more and more housing and buildings on the park site.

  14. Dick Thurnau,Marcia Wollam Says:

    To SC: I can understand that as a woman, you feel more comfortable walking your dog when there are more park users around. For your purposes, disc golf is benign, even advantageous. It is however,other, passive users for which disc golfers have a negative impact. As I mentioned in an earlier reply, bird watching, recording bird sounds, and walking in the open spaces of the park to photograph or examine plants are definitely impacted by disc golf. The passive users are expected to stop what they are doing to let the golfer play through,though perhaps courtesy should dictate that the golfer be the one to stop, instead. And though we may disagree on whether disc golf is appropriate in a public park, it is the Park Department itself that has an obligation to maintain our park spaces for all of us, and for future generations. Too many alterations in the landscape, and too many separate uses by private groups which involve permanent installations in the park, gradually alter it permanently, one bite at a time. But disc golf was a big bite. And then we’re all left with a totally different park to be handed down to the next generation.
    We have nothing against the sport of disc golf in general. But it doesn’t belong in a public park. Like regulation golf, it needs private land.

    To Dollarsfordollars: Thank you for recognizing the efforts of Friends of Hicklin Lake toward restoration of water quality. The TAF building seems to be admired by many as a great addition at the Park’s edge, and an eyesore by others. We would agree with you that housing is impinging on the park area, but housing has occupied that space since the 40′s; it’s just a newer, low income development now.
    As for the off-leash dog question, while it’s true that most dogs are friendly, any dog that rushes toward a person, friendly or not, is an unknown quantity, which can scare the daylights out of you. And elderly park visitors certainly don’t want dogs running up to them, as these older folks can easily lose their balance in that situation. Unfortunately, most of the off leash dogs we’ve witnessed were owned by disc golfers, who obviously cannot handle a leash and throw their disc at the same time. So they often let the dogs run free. Recently while we were visiting the park, three dogs ran right in front of our vehicle, causing a near collision. Good thing our driver has fast reactions. The disc golfer ran into the parking lot after one dog, but the other two ran the opposite direction. As we drove away, he was still trying to gain control.Dogs need to be leashed in our park, for the safety of other park users, and for the dogs, too.

  15. Disc golfers have tried over and over to work with Dick. Every clean up party, has a large group of disc golfers. Every fundraiser for the park, has a group of disc golfers. EAch and every time though, Dick Thurnau has taken the public spot light to talk about how the disc golfers are destroying his park. THis letter above, once again proves that Dick has some weird personal axe to grind with the disc golf community. Don’t get me wrong, he has done a lot of amazing work on this park, but as soon as anyone else tries to help out, he attacks them. How many active “Friends of Hicks Lake” are there? Just Dick.

  16. Dick Thurnau,Marcia Wollam Says:

    To “Joe” (last name withheld…why?): Dick is not the only Friend of Hicklin Lake. And in a broader sense, a “friend” of the lake is one who takes an interest in it and the park, and promotes its health for its own sake, not just for human use interests. There are plants and animals in the park too, that depend on a healthy environment, but we don’t see disc golfers taking this into account, though they are now heavy users of the area. We wonder why “every clean up party” has never included picking up the multiple cigarette butts, bottle caps, and candy wrappers that litter the ground around tee-off areas? Every disc golfer should make a point of picking up litter each time they visit the park,(as Friends of Hicklin Lake do), even if they are not litterers themselves. And they should take some initiative and police other golfers, to stop the beer drinking and rampant running of dogs off leash. They would certainly help their image as a group if they left the surroundings better than they found them.
    We have no “personal axe to grind” against disc golf generally, or disc golfers, other than to repeat, that it does not belong in a public park. It alters the landscape permanently, degrades vegetation, and impacts passive users.
    But Joe, you really should sign your last name, if you want some credibility. Anyone can make anonymous accusations.

  17. I used my last name earlier and received a very rude phone call at my home. Scrolling back through the messages I see no last names on most of the folks who have commented here. Why pick on Joe?

  18. Dick Thurnau,Marcia Wollam Says:

    To PL:
    I believe we responded to an earlier note from you regarding “protected wilderness areas.”
    We’re not picking on Joe alone, as we would encourage anyone else who uses pseudonyms to please use their actual names when submitting comments. (Please note that even in the name field of this blog, under “leave a reply” it says: “Name(required)”. As is often the case with anonymous comments, it’s a little too easy to be careless with “facts” when one is not identifiable, therefore not accountable, and Joe’s personal comments about me required a response, to correct and clarify. We recently submitted a notebook to Christie True, Director of Parks,which substantiated the landscape damage from disc golf (that Joe apparently prefers not to recognize),as well as garbage cans heaped with beer bottles (which we watched golfers drinking) and we received a very nice return card from Christie, thanking us not only for the notebook with photos but for the work we do on behalf of the community.

  19. Dick, read the letter above. You are a laughing stock for the Parks Dept.

  20. Dick Thurnau,Marcia Wollam Says:

    To “Joe”:

    The “letter above” is the last one we authored, so don’t know which other letter you might be referring to.