We moved to Chestermere in 1997 when the population was about 2,000. We were attracted to Chestermere by the beautiful Lakeside Greens golf course and the attractive Lakeside Greens housing development with the wide streets, spacious lots, and the variety of housing styles. At the time the three main recreational facilities in the town were the golf course, the lake and the Chestermere recreation facility – no swimming pool, no tennis courts.
Today, 24 years later, the population of Chestermere has increased over ten times to now 22,000 + residents. What are the three main recreation facilities today? The same three as in 1997 – the golf course, the lake and Chestermere recreation facility – no swimming pool, no tennis courts. Granted, there have been additions to bike paths, etc., but to lose the Lakeside Greens golf course would be a major blow to the major recreation facilities available and one less amenity to attract people to our city.
When we look around at Olds, Carstairs, Airdrie, Cochrane, Strathmore, Langdon, Okotoks, High River, Turner Valley and Nanton – they all have golf course(s). Many of these have far less population than Chestermere and are all able to maintain their golf courses.
When we look to the west side of Chestermere we see developments that will include more than 5,000 homes. Calgary has plans for five more developments by East Hills. How many more homes do we need in this area that we need to destroy an existing golf course to build more?
With the Covid-19 restrictions in place in 2020, golfing was one of the sports that was able to operate. Golf courses all over saw a great increase in participation and introduced a number of new participants to the sport. It appears that 2021 will continue in the same manner and should spur an increased interest in the sport and with the number of new homes coming to the area there should be a number of new participants to support Lakeside Greens Golf Course.
In a recent interview with CBC News, Peter Paauw of Slokker Homes made some disparaging remarks about Lakeside Greens golf course making it sound like it was a farmers field. Two quotes from the interview were:
“Paauw says for those who are interested in playing golf, they are choosing better-designed courses”. (If this were true then why was there such a great increase in tee times at this course in 2020)?
“(Lakeside) was built in the mid-’90s, truly as almost a farmer field golf course. It’s not the nicest golf course to play, it’s not the nicest golf course to live alongside”. (I imagine if you asked anyone in the Lakeside Greens housing development what they would prefer, to live alongside the golf course or to live looking at some condos).
It is obvious that Mr. Paauw is trying to discourage people from coming to play the course to give Slokker Homes more reason to turn it into a housing development. The citizens of Chestermere need to stand up and ensure we do not lose this recreational amenity. A community is more than just houses.