LETTER:Golf and prairie

The Jan. 13 article, “Open house on Port Townsend golf course’s future draws hundreds,” states that among the options are “… returning [the course] to native prairie (possible but potentially very expensive).”

Actually, there was no discussion, simply one passing mention during the presentation.

Nothing was said about cost publicly.

As principal steward of the existing 1.4 acre prairie, I can verify that the total maintenance expense over the past 35 years, with volunteer labor, is a mere couple thousand dollars.

“Returning to native prairie” for the entire course is not a serious proposal.

But in recent weeks, conversation has begun around two things: introducing more prairie flowers in unmowed areas along selected fairways, the rough, using plant material already present on the course; and reduced mowing of existing rough, allowing prairie plants already present to reach bloom stage.

These are not costs, they are savings, good for the land and enhancing the enjoyment of appreciative golfers.

Golf and native prairie are very compatible, as shown by their co-existence on the site for nearly 100 years.

Such economical upgrades for the golf course rough don’t belong in a discussion of costs.

Other proposals such as housing or aquatic center involve real costs of millions of dollars.

Native prairie describes what covered the land prior to 1850, for thousands of years.

A very modest investment can rejuvenate small areas to thrive again as prairie.

Forest Shomer

Port Townsend