A grassroots group is challenging work being done in preparation for a disc golf course at Timber Creek Park.
The group contends the clearing of trees to make way for the disc golf course is threatening plants and wildlife in the 130-acre Camden County-owned park.
Broadmoor residents Chris and Joanne Schillizzi discovered dozens of trees had been cut down in the woods at Timber Creek Park on Sept. 22.
"They're cutting huge swaths through the woods," Chris Schillizzi said.
The Schillizzis, joined by Jan Pijpelink and Joanne Talahatu, have since launched a Facebook page—Save Timber Creek Park—in protest of the tree-clearing activity and distributed fliers attempting to rally like-minded area residents.
The Facebook page had garnered 112 "likes" as of 10 p.m. Wednesday.
"We're just a few people who are saying, 'We can't let this happen,'" Chris Schillizzi said.
The group estimates that four to five dozen trees of about 4-6 inches in diameter had been cut down, in addition to brush, through Tuesday afternoon.
County officials announced in late July that a disc golf course would be constructed in the park, which is located off Chews Landing Road near Somerdale Road. The county hopes to have the course open this fall.
"There's a constituency here that wants to have and use a disc golf course," county spokesman Dan Keashen said.
Disc golf features individual players who toss discs at targets. According to the Professional Disc Golf Association, disc golf shares with traditional golf the objective of completing each hole in the fewest number of throws.
Chris Schillizzi told Patch he wasn't thrilled with the idea when he first learned of it, but was OK with it so long as it didn't require any clearing of trees or other vegetation. That the park's grounds remain in their natural state, except for the former Slim's Ranch field, was a key part of the planning process for the area back in 2005, he argues.
Camden County officials acknowledge trees and brush are being cleared to make way for the disc golf course.
"There are some trees coming down," Keashen said. "This is true."
Keashen noted the trees are "young, not matured, trees," putting their size at about 3 to 4 inches in diameter. He also indicated the county will plant two trees in the park for every one that is taken down.
"We're not clear-cutting any portion of the park," he said. "There are no bulldozers lined up."
Keashen says there will not be greens fees for use of the disc golf course. He added that while the course may serve as an economic engine for the surrounding area, the only fees the county will collect for the course's use will be for large tournaments.
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