Save Pleasure Island Disc Golf

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    Citizens of Southeast Texas and Disc Golfers worldwide
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    Members of the Golden Triangle Disc Golf Club
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Since 1991, Southeast Texas has had the privilege of enjoying the Barrys Treasure Disc Golf Course on Pleasure Island. Pleasure Island was the home of 4 such courses at one time, and was the host of successive Disc Golf World Championships in 1994 and 1995. Barrys Treasure is the sole survivor of those 4 World Championship courses, and as the name implies, is a true treasure to the disc golf community, both local and nationwide.

It was designed by renowned disc golf course architect John Houck in the early 90s, and has survived all these years with the volunteer efforts of the local disc golf community. The course has features that are atypical for the area: massive rolling hills, diverse flora and fauna, and a beautiful view of the ship traffic to the Port of Port Arthur. Barrys Treasure is unique in those aspects, and cannot be replaced or duplicated in our area.

However, Tuesday, June 19, 2007, in an effort to develop the area, the Port Arthur City Council voted in favor of demolishing the park to make way for a 19 acre RV Park. The initiative is being spearheaded by Motiva Enterprises, with the intention that the park be used as temporary housing for their contracted laborers while working a massive construction project. They plan to destroy the most beautiful landscape of the entire island to set up what amounts to a laborers camp.

This is not progress. This is not development. Defacing the land and taking recreational parks away from the public in an effort to make a quick dollar and appease an industrial mega power is unacceptable. The damage that would be done is irreversible, and the profits from such are fleeting, as the construction project is not a permanent undertaking. Once construction is completed, the workers will leave, and we will be short one disc golf course. In its place will be an empty trailer park of which there is no shortage in Southeast Texas.

The council is concerned with making a profit from land that is maintained at a loss, a cost that they are willing to exaggerate in order to suit their agenda. John Chirafis, Pleasure Island Commission chairman reported to local news outlets that the city spends $20,000 per year in order to keep the park mowed. With the infrequency that the park is mowed, $20,000 per year would mean that someone is paid in excess of $150 an hour for the job. The figures are being grossly misrepresented. These elected officials are effectively betraying the community for a chance to grovel at the feet of Big Oil, hoping that a few silvers might trickle down from an overflowing coffer.

We do not accept this. The park lands are the property of the community. They do not belong to local politicians, to do with as they please in the name of short sighted greed. They belong to the people who frequent them, and the children who will grow up enjoying them. We ask that another location be considered for the project. Pleasure Island is mostly undeveloped land, and of that undeveloped land, almost all of it is more suited to the task at hand than the rolling hills of our disc golf course. There is a wealth of undeveloped territory on Pleasure Island that is already flat and would require far less preparation and development to be made ready. We will resist these efforts and do all in our power to make sure that this beautiful course is not transformed into an eyesore on the island. We are: the Pleasure Island/Port Arthur community; the citizens of Southeast Texas; the disc golf enthusiasts of this great nation.