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HomeLarchmont'Disc Golf' at Saxon Woods ? Fact vs."Conspiracy Campaign"

‘Disc Golf’ at Saxon Woods ? Fact vs.”Conspiracy Campaign”

Saxon Woods Park

Courtesy- discgolfpark.com

It hinted of a conspiracy “whisper campaign,” of unethical behavior by some County leaders, and a fallacious plan to “clear and bulldoze” half of the trees in Saxon Woods Park to create a disc golf course. And the misinformation campaign has drawn the anger of Westchester County Executive George Latimer.

The rumors ignited a fury of lengthy threads posted on social media and emails expressing fears that that the disc golf would attract “wealthy out-of-towners.”

“It is not hard to envision luxury cars from SoHo and ubers from Brooklyn Heights streaming into the parking lot,” writes one breathless resident.

Latimer lashed out in response to an anonymous flyer that caused the uproar. “Much of the flyer’s assertions are untrue…,” says Latimer, citing that no design plan has been presented or approved and that “any plan adopted will NOT include the removal of healthy trees.”

Disc golf is a recreational sport that, according to the Professional Disc Golf Association, is played much like golf but “instead of a ball and clubs, players use a flying disc or Frisbee®” which is tossed across the playing area to a “hole” which is usually an elevated metal basket. “Existing disc golf courses are in use at FDR State Park in Yorktown and Leonard Park in Mt. Kisco,” Latimer says.

The Westchester County Executive explains that $40,000 was allocated in 2020 towards a disc golf project, upon demand from Westchester residents, including a group known as WeDGE (Westchester Disc Golf Enthusiasts). Catherine Parker, the Westchester County Legislator who serves as liaison to the County Parks Board, says the money was added to explore the possibility of a disc golf course in hopes of attracting new users to the parks. Parker says while she was aware of the plan to explore creating a space for this growing activity, she did not know anything about plans for Saxon Woods until last weekend’s flood of calls and emails from local residents.

“It sounds like the concern with Saxon Woods, since there is not even a plan, is premature at best,” says Parker.

Says Latimer, “It is greatly frustrating to me to have to chase a false rumor all over the internet, when a simple inquiry to our office would have cleared up the matter properly.”

Saxon Woods Park, located along Mamaroneck Ave and the Hutchinson River Parkway in White Plains and Scarsdale, includes 700 acres of property with an 18 hole golf course, miniature golf course, hiking and horseback riding trails.

While the Saxon Woods site is not on the agenda, Parker plans to raise questions about it at the County Parks Board meeting, Thursday, April 15, 4:00pm. The public is invited to view the meeting.  Westchester Parks Board Meetings

Click here to read the full response from George Latimer, Westchester County Executive

Saxon Woods Park Trail, Scarsdale

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A Tired Disc Hucker
A Tired Disc Hucker
6 months ago

I feel at this point that people are willfully misinformed. Disc golf doesn’t disturb the environment any more than hiking does. Construction of a course could very easily coexist with existing trails. Safety is paramount, discs will not be zipping over your head while you go for a trail walk with your children. Please just try to keep an open mind, be compassionate, and perhaps talk to people instead of instantly resorting to insults.

Last edited 6 months ago by A Tired Disc Hucker
westchester resident
westchester resident
6 months ago

everyone
its just a basket that you throw some frisbees in
you can still walk
you can still hike
you can stillbring your kids
you can still bring your dogs
its just a frisbee
maybe your kids would like to play a quick game after a nice hike
its something to do for the family
please be considerate
its for the kids plain and simple
please be compassionate
please give it a chance

A devoted woods walker
A devoted woods walker
6 months ago

I just spent an hour in Saxon Woods today and anyone who says that this project is still in the “planning phase” is smoking something that is not yet quite legal in this State. It would be useful if our elected officials actually went and saw for themselves before embarrassing themselves by issuing statements that are clearly mistaken (and that goes for reporters who don’t do proper diligence as well). Mr. Latimer and other skeptics should just come and see for themselves.

If the parks department has “authorized nothing” as Mr. Latimer claims, then how come the trails are already cut? They are numerous and they cross the main walking path in multiple locations through the entire length of the southern park. Trees have been flagged, brush has been removed and the wild character of the forest visibly changed.

If I want someone to yell “fore” at me, I can go to Saxon Woods Golf course. But not in the woods please.

A Tired Disc Hucker
A Tired Disc Hucker
6 months ago

No brush, trees, or other fauna have been touched by those involved with the disc course planning. You may want to contact the Parks and Rec dept to see if other maintenance is being performed, but the only work that has been done for the course has been the planting of small markers for possible pin placement.

Laughing at this absurdity.
Laughing at this absurdity.
6 months ago

Congratulations on fear mongering and spreading false rumors. I was at Saxon Woods this past Wednesday, and walked the exact area where the course is proposed to be, and nothing has been cleared or changed at all, other than a few pieces of tape tied to a branch here or there. Boldfaced lies are a pretty pathetic way to try to get a leg up on an argument.

Walker and Hiker
Walker and Hiker
6 months ago

This issue is of concern to me: I love walking in Saxon Woods Park, and I hope that George Latimer is not hiding anything — I voted for him. When you click on the link that is supposed to lead to George Latimer’s response nothing opens up.
NOTE FROM EDITOR – the link is fixed, thank you.

A concerned resident
A concerned resident
6 months ago

Make no mistake, this project is very much underway and in progress. A comprehensive 18 hole disc golf course, with 3-4 par per hole, is in late stages of design for the interior of the southern end of the park, pending final approvals after a nature impact is done. This will fundamentally change the nature of a park many of you know and love. Hikers will still be able to enjoy the main trails, but will no longer be able to wander off into the fold of the beautiful, peaceful interior of the park without risk of injury from flying golf discs. Act now, find out more, and get in touch with the Parks Office and your local legislators.

George Latimer
George Latimer
6 months ago

Make no mistake about it you are dead wrong and circulating falsehoods. The Parks Dept is waiting to review a consultant’s plan; they have authorized nothing, and senior management has not seen it yet. Nothing will be approved until Legislators and Parks Board people have reviewed it. And there is no firm commitment to implement any plan until it is fully vetted.

Please keep Q-Anon speculation to yourself. By going off the deep end you have created the very controversy you seek to remediate.

George Latimer

A concerned resident
A concerned resident
6 months ago
Reply to  George Latimer

George, none of the information above is incorrect, although you may disagree with my opinion that the proposal will change the nature of the park. A designer has been engaged, and a course is planned (bullet point 4 of your email April 12). Conversations with Parks Office today confirmed the proposed course is already marked out for review and approval purposes. Anyone visiting the park can see this. Yes it is not “final” and is still subject to further review, impact assessments and approval. But the above statement that it is very well underway is correct.
Why are you being so dismissive of very valid concerns being raised by the community? And if it’s not final as you say, then why can’t the community get involved to have their say and have their concerns heard? The disc golf interest group has apparently 200 registered members as of Feb 21 according to published interviews easily available online. It appears they have had the chance to ask for their interests to be met. It is now time for transparency over this initiative and the opportunity for the broader community of nature lovers, which I know far exceeds this small number, to be heard.

A concerned observer and park user
A concerned observer and park user
6 months ago
Reply to  George Latimer

The justification for this development seems to be that nonGolf course part of the part of the park is not used. I think if you look at the size of the golf course it is even less used than the park. Why not put the disk golf on the golf course? Golf whether regular or disk tends to serve a well to do white male group. How about leaving the rest of the park for others as well as white males to enjoy freely and without ruining the truly wonderful sense of wild nature that can be felt in Saxon Woods. There seems to be some indication that this Disk Golf will threaded through the most wild portions of Saxon Woods. This will ruin the park as a habitat as well ruin the sense of quiet and peace walkers and runners in the park have come to enjoy.
Samuel Adams

Tami Burks
Tami Burks
6 months ago

Disc golf certainly doesn’t cater to “well to do white males”. Also, it is co-exists beautifully with hikers, dog-walkers, runners, mountain bikers, etc in county and state parts all over the place. I’m a nature lover who walks in Saxon Woods regularly AND I think the addition of a disc golf course there could be a wonderful thing. It doesn’t have to be an either/or proposition.

Nope
Nope
6 months ago

Do you know how much it costs to play disc golf? All you need to start is a single $15 disc, which is hardly only a price for “a well to do white male group.”

Susan Johnston
Susan Johnston
6 months ago
Reply to  George Latimer

They have started clearing their proposed course area, Mr. Latimer. We have pictures if you would care to see them, or we could give you a tour. We want to see whatever permit or approval they have, since they claim, repeatedly, to have been approved by the County. We sent you a long letter yesterday asking for more information and we really hope to hear back from you. Who is the consultant and is the plan public? If so can you pleas publish it?

A Tired Disc Hucker
A Tired Disc Hucker
6 months ago
Reply to  Susan Johnston

There hasn’t been a single leaf touched by those involved with the proposal. I do think there is a possibility of maintenance being performed by the parks and rec dept, but there has been absolutely no removal of brush, trees or other fauna performed by those associated with the disc golf course.

Susan Johnston
Susan Johnston
6 months ago
Reply to  George Latimer

Also, Mr. Latimer, Ms. O’Connor told one concerned community member on the phone yesterday that safety of hikers who are not on the main trails would not be assured, suggesting a hiker, and perhaps her small children who are often in the park, would assume the risk of injury if she wandered off the trail into the wild. I wonder if the County has considered the insurance and liability implications thoroughly. Will there be signage throughout the woods warning hikers not to leave the trails at risk of injury? Where will the signage be located? Many people enter the woods on foot, not through the parking lot and wouldn’t see signs in the parking lot. I have some personal experience defending a governmental entity against a negligence claim when warning signs were insufficient to keep people away from hazard – it can be hard to get around this kind of thing.
I hope you have had a chance to read our letter and to listen to the podcasts the WeDGE people made. I also hope you have had a chance to walk in the woods and see how fragile and lovely it is. I also hope you are aware that it is heavily used by hikers. Contrary to WeDGE’s opinion, it is not 98% unutilized.

Susan Johnston
Susan Johnston
6 months ago
Reply to  George Latimer

I actually am finding I deeply and profoundly resent the implication that the community concerns, triggered by the words of WeDGE itself in its podcast and on its facebook page, is in any way analogous to Q-Anon. For heaven’s sake. You owe your constituents an apology for this, sir.

John Fulco
John Fulco
6 months ago
Reply to  George Latimer

As a constituent and someone who has voted for you Mr. Latimer, I find your dismissive tone in response to genuine concerns over an important public resource to be ill-considered and disappointing. Several individuals have indicated that they have personally observed and photographed activities which raise concerns that unauthorized activities are occurring. You should be open to meeting and/or otherwise communicating with concerned citizens on this issue, explain exactly what has occurred to date, and outline a clear and transparent process for evaluating, with public participation and input, this new proposed use of Saxon Woods, including a serious consideration of whether this precious resource will be damaged by this use, public safety jeopardized or current uses impaired. This requires that any proposed plan receive full and immediate public disclosure. It is not sufficient to give general assurances and certainly inappropriate to accuse a constituent who is asking legitimate questions of being a Q anon conspiracist. You can and must do better.

Ignorance is the problem
Ignorance is the problem
6 months ago

It seems like your only concern, “concerned resident”, would be that you could not “wander off into the fold of the beautiful, peaceful interior of the park, without risk of injury”…

Even if the course magically appeared there tomorrow… which it will not, and never will, thanks to fear and ignorance… your ability to “wander off” would not be affected. The vast south area of the park would still have been plentiful with untouched areas… sufficient for your wanderlust. With no danger. It is understandable to be fearful. It is shameful to let your ignorance fuel your fear. The designer that was hired to propose a plan was arguably the best in the world, and their NUMBER ONE concern when designing is that of SAFETY. YOU should make no mistake, but already have… you were never in danger.

C O M M U N I T Y • C A L E N D A R