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Course to open on donated land

Course to open on donated land

Rice, Derek

BATON ROUGE, La. – Thanks to a donation of 200 acres of land and a property tax levy that raised $3.2 million, the East Baton Rouge Parish Recreation and Parks Commission (BREC) will soon open a new flagship golf course, its seventh in the area.

Although there is no set date for the opening of Beaver Creek, Bill Palmer, BREC director, said conditions should dictate a summer opening.

“We don’t have a target date except for somewhere around July or August,” he said. It’s growing in and doing very well. It’s been a kind winter and the grass really looks good.”

A group of landowners donated the land in 1999, keeping 322 acres for a residential community that is also under construction.

“The land is worth about 2.5 million. That’s avery significant donation,” Palmer said.

Because BREC and the developers have worked together from the start, the two projects will avoid many of the issues encountered by such close neighbors, Palmer said.

“We eliminated a lot of the potential problems by working together in the beginning,” he said.

There were also wetlands issues at the site, Palmer said, which Craig Schreiner Golf Course Architects incorporated into the master plan.

“Craig Schreiner has worked very well with the site to minimize the impact on those wetland areas,” he said. “We mitigated 14 acres out there. The adjacent wetlands are some of the features that make the golf course so unique and make it such a beautiful course.”

Among those issues was the relocation of a six-foot alligator to a neighboring swamp.

“It calls [the wetlands) home, so we’ll see if it comes back,” said Kristi Barnett, director of BREC’s public relations.

BREC is also undergoing a renovation at its Clark Park facility thanks to a grant from The First Tee. Both projects have been planned and overseen by Schreiner.

“We already have extensive junior golf program, we’re just looking to make it better through The First Tee,” Palmer said. “Clark Park is a beautiful ninehole course. We’re going to change it a little bit, and add a driving range, make it more friendly for our purposes.”

Copyright United Publications, Inc. May 2002

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