On a nice day, which today is not, the park-like setting of the Town of Fort Sheridan brings out a lot of runners, bikers, stroller pushers, dog walkers and others who just want to enjoy the day and not be cooped up in the house watching another bad Bears game (ok, so they won one this week) or updating their Facebook profile. When people see me with my scope, camera and binoculars rooting around for interesting bird life, it is not uncommon for a conversation to ensue. In this way I have come to meet a number of homeowners in the Town of Fort Sheridan, including 2 who have recently moved into the area.
To my surprise, the golf course matter is not really on their radar. But what really surprised me was the response I got when I mentioned that the current golf course plan includes digging up the parade grounds and turning this into a golf course. Several I spoke to know of this and are not particularly excited about it but “don’t think it will really happen.” But one recently re-located homeowner who lives directly across from the parade grounds told me flat out that I was just wrong, that the land was subject to historic preservation and there was no plan to put a golf course on the parade ground.
Well, the truth is that the master plan, adopted in 2003, quite clearly places holes 3, 4, 5, and 6 on the parade ground. And although this is as plain as the nose on my face, it seems to be a mystery to some of the local residents.
That’s why we asked the City of Highland Park, who continues to go against widespread public sentiment in their support of this golf course, to conduct their own information sessions with the local residents.
The first goal, certainly apparent now, is to simply insure that everyone has the same facts about what is planned for this property. And the second goal would be to assess the true desire for this land use among the residents of the area. We’d be willing to place a small wager that if the city gave the homeowners in the Town of Fort Sheridan development a chance to express themselves in anonymity, the support for a golf course would melt away, unlike the snow that seems to be with us now.