Mayor David Mayer addressed a group of residents' concerns over the development of a disc golf course in Timber Creek Park during Monday night's Township Council meeting.
"It has to be done in the right way," Mayer said of the project.
Timber Creek Park is a 128-acre property located off Chews Landing Road in Gloucester Township. The land is owned and maintained by Camden County.
Mayer recently walked the proposed disc golf course and wasn't thrilled with what he saw there.
"My concern was that it was really encroaching on a lot of the sensitive areas in that park," he said Monday night.
The mayor indicated he brought up his concerns with Freeholder Jeffrey L. Nash, liaison to both the Camden County Department of Parks and Camden County Division of Environmental Affairs, during a discussion earlier Monday.
"I think that we have to find a balance—a balance providing recreation here in Gloucester Township with protecting our environment," Mayer said.
Mayer remains optimistic something will be worked out that will both protect Timber Creek Park's natural environment and provide avid disc golfers with a second Camden County course—the first opened in Voorhees earlier this year.
He did note, though, that the decision ultimately will fall on county officials, since Camden County owns the property.
"It's not a decision that I or the township get to make," the mayor said.
Mayer told Timber Creek Park activist Chris Schillizzi, who attended Monday's meeting, that he will put the concerns he expressed to Nash into writing.
Schillizzi and a few others launched the "Save Timber Creek Park" Facebook page on Sept. 28 after Schillizzi and his wife, Joanne, discovered about 50 trees had been cut down to make way for the disc golf course.
Mayer and Council President Glen Bianchini, as councilmen in 2003, fought a developer's proposal to build some 800 homes on the land now known as Timber Creek Park, the officials said.
"It is a gem, and I'm glad it's preserved," Bianchini said.