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environment | sustainability

Taxpayer dependent public golf courses present an opportunity

Portland tax payers have a right to enjoy and determine the fate of the land they maintain. Portland's publicly-run bankrupt golf courses could be better used in providing green spaces for all of us, while restoring native ecosystems. Instead they are solely enjoyed by a handful of golfers.
In light of the growing public pressure, awareness and moral obligations that surround the current climate and ecosystem disasters we are facing, the City of Portland has a unique opportunity in its public golf courses, especially those of which are no longer economically sustainable and depend on taxpayer funded bailouts (Colwood Golf Center recieved 800,000 in 2017). An opportunity that would simultaneously alleviate pressure from conservationist and climate change activists, while being economically feasible. If the land the Colwood Golf Course now occupies were used to restore wetland habitat and native species, using the existing trails as walking paths, and generating some revenue through parking fees, would it not be better taken advantage of than it currently is?  Colwood Golf Center is only one example of one of the several city owned properties that could potentially be providing a green space for all of the inhabitants of Portland (not just a handful of golfers) while also supporting our native ecosystems without requiring significant budget increases. Portland's inhabitants maintain this land with their tax dollars, they are entitled to have a say in how they are managed and for what purposes.