When we built our golf course in 2019, we didn’t know we’d be in the national spotlight
A golf course built in 2019 is being lauded as a model of sustainability, but there’s no guarantee that all of the work will be completed on time.
The golf course has been under construction for more than 10 years, and while it has undergone many environmental reviews, many environmental assessments have been deemed negative.
And now, as the park’s budget is stretched thin, the park has received a $1.5-million grant from the federal government to complete its first course and a $3-million federal grant to finish another one, as well as to help fund other projects, said Bob Pritchard, chair of the Board of Directors for the Lakeshore Golf and Country Club.
The lakefront park has had two courses built at a time since it opened, but both of those projects were built with $2-million grants from the Canadian Environment and Climate Change Agency.
“It’s an opportunity for us to do more than just build one course,” said Pritcher.
“This is a chance for us as a board to create a sustainable vision for the future.”
In 2019, the lakefront resort was home to more than 1,000 people, including many with disabilities.
Now, with funding from the government, it will begin building a $6.5 million course, which will include a large green space that will include wetlands, a golf course and trails.
“I think this will be a great success story,” said Mike Tully, who is also chair of Lakeshores Golf and the Lakeshire Development Corporation.
“You can expect that they’re going to get the greens.
And that’s a big part of it.”
But many are worried about the long-term sustainability of the park.
The Lakeshire Golf and Club was built with a grant from Ottawa’s National Capital Commission.
In 2018, the government approved a $8-million investment to create the park and $1-million to build a clubhouse.
But the golf course was never built because of a construction moratorium.
And Pritch said that was the reason he and the rest of the board had to come up with the funding.
“We had to go to federal ministers and ask for money,” he said.
“We just had to ask the federal minister to give us money.”
While funding from other sources is expected to help with costs, the Lakehore golf course is expected by many to take years to complete.
Pritchers concerns are not unfounded, and he’s been meeting with park staff to discuss the long term sustainability of Lakehores.
But he said the park is also focused on building a green space around the lake that will improve accessibility for everyone.
“This is not about putting up a barrier, it’s about making the park accessible for everybody, not just people with disabilities,” he told CBC News.
“For people who have mobility challenges, or have disabilities that make it hard for them to walk, it makes it hard to play, to get on a golf cart, to go down a slope.”
Pritchard said that’s what’s most important to him and the other board members.
“To see a golf club and clubhouse built in a park with people with mobility challenges — that’s really important,” he added.
“And to see a park that has greens where people can play, where they can walk — that means that they have access to the park.”
To learn more about how you can help, visit the Lakeshiore Golf Club website.