Cobbs Creek Town Hall
To watch the Town Hall, please click here. Below is the transcript from the meeting.
Morgan Moore: Hello, everyone. Hello, hello. Hello, I’m sorry about any technical difficulties. I see some people are connecting to audio Hello, everyone! Hello, I see many people are filing in. Thank you for joining us tonight. I’m sorry about that technical difficulty just now, I’m not sure what happened with Zoom. But we are so excited to see you all joining us. And I’m just going to wait a couple of minutes for everyone else to file in. So thank you for joining us, if you wouldn’t mind keeping yourself on mute until we get started. That would be great.
Well hello to everyone that’s joining us. Thank you so much for being here. If everybody could just keep themselves on mute until we get started, that would be wonderful. I’m going to wait a couple of more minutes because of the technical difficulties we’re experiencing. And then we’ll go ahead and get started.
Hello to everyone that is joining us, going to wait just a couple of more minutes to get started. And then we go ahead okay, I also see this as sort of a please I’m gonna wait one more moment, and then we’ll get started. So happy to have you all here with us tonight.
Just about one more minute, just to give everyone an opportunity to file in. Good evening. I’m going to go ahead and start sharing my screen just to make sure everybody can see it. If you can pop me a thumbs up if you can see that that will be helpful to me. Can everyone see a slide that says Cobbs Creek Restoration overview? Excellent. Awesome. Awesome. So thank you all so much for joining us tonight. Again, I want to apologize for the slight technical difficulty we had to start. But I am so happy that all of you are here. My name is Morgan Moore. I work for the Cobbs Creek Foundation. And Maria and I are just extremely thrilled about the launch of this project. The purpose of tonight is to update the community on our current plans to get you all feedback so that you can help shape the plans for the Educational Center, which we’ll go into a little bit more later. And just to give us an introduction and to start opening these lines of communication, we anticipate that we’re going to have community town halls at least on a quarterly basis. And if you have any questions or commentary before then, of course you can say so at the end, but I’m also going to put my email in the chat so you all can email me if you have anything at all that you want to contribute. Okay, so without further ado, we’ll go ahead and get started. Maria, do you want to introduce yourself?
I’m so grateful to be a part of this evening and more importantly, a part of this project that Morgan and I were invited to join at the beginning of August. I am Maria Stroup. I have worked with community work in a nonprofit called the Impact center. And I met Morgan when she was in high school. She was an unbelievable student and she is a resident of Overbrook community, growing up there. And with that said, we came together and she worked with the Impact Center as well volunteering. We came together alongside the Cobbs Creek Foundation, because of this mighty mission in front of you. And with that said, in all its authenticity. This whole group of human beings are coming together to create an economically sustainable golf and educational campus, which will provide such opportunity for the diverse youth of Philadelphia. That’s the overarching mission. We’re going to unpack together tonight what that translates out to mean. And just as Morgan said, please feel free to write down your questions. The second half of our time together tonight, is laser focused on things you have questions about, and if we can’t answer them, we will definitely get back to you. But this is a launching moment for us. We just received the lease from the city last week. We are so excited to have announced the project this last Wednesday. And we are beginning an amazing journey with the hopes of your participation in shaping that journey.
I myself did not grow up in this area. But I moved here probably about 25 years ago, I had no idea of the rich history of this golf course, a history that is embedded with equity, diversity and inclusion. One that is stunningly transparent about going against the norms that were our country was navigating at that point. A committee formed saying let’s open a public golf course at Fairmount Park. It’s a rich and beautiful landscape. And with that said it will create great opportunities for the surrounding communities. In 1916, when all other clubs around the entire country were only allowing white men to play golf – no person of color or any women – gender was an issue, race was an issue. And this public golf course began to embrace a different posture. So in 1928, they opened up and really became the hub for men and women’s UGA tour openings. And I need to say Morgan and I do not golf. That’s not why we joined this project. It is our passion that led to this project. But to be a part of a course that has a rich history where the national championship for the black players started in the 30s and they became the only PGA Tour place that would allow black golfers to use their incredible gifts and talents and Charlie Sifford, who had been turned away all over the country denied access for years as he tried to play the game of golf. And it wasn’t until he moved to Philadelphia to be close to the Cobbs Creek Golf Course, that he found his greatest moment of success and he was able to win the PGA Tour as the first black golfer and he called Cobbs Creek, his home course. In fact, an unbelievable trivia that I learned is that Tiger Woods named his son after Charlie Sifford. What a beautiful moment. And then through the 50s, 60s and all the way up over the 60 years, the legacy of this course has been rich, diverse, authentic, and equitable. And now over the last 60 years, it fell into disrepair, it met great obstacles, and the city couldn’t maintain it. And you all as surrounding community members have seen the effects of the city not having the opportunity to or resources to maintain this course, and the environmental effects of that, and the lack of safety and things that happen with trash around the course. There’s been a real void of care for this incredible community resource. So the Cobbs Creek Foundation said enough. We want to not only build a state of the art PGA golf course, but we want to build a center that allows us to partner with the community deeply and build on the assets that this community already has going and offer some educational, financial planning and other structural building on structural moments that build up what is already begun in this community and we’ll go into more detail about that.
Thank you, Maria. So as Maria stated, we are going to restore the Cobbs Creek Golf Course. There have been issues with dumping, there have been issues with it sort of been let go and there are some safety issues. And we want to let you know that we are going to address those. And we’re excited to begin doing that. So now that we’re launching the project, one of the things about the course that’s going to be great is that we’re going to be cultivating green spaces, it’s going to look completely different, it’s going to be beautified, of course, creating those educational opportunities that Maria talked about. And those will be offered through the education and community engagement center, it’s going to generate a lot of revenue and tourism, it’s going to be a state of the art course, it’s public, it’ll be new, it’ll be beautiful. When I show you the map plans for some of the things that will be there, I think that you’ll see it’s going to generate a significant amount of tourism, which will be good for the community in terms of revenue. Of course, we want to build community togetherness. And that’s between us and between you all and also just between the community around itself by offering these programs. And by building on assets. Maria already went into the rich history of the Cobbs Creek Golf Course, which is funny to me, because I grew up on 58 in Melbourne. So I was right in between Winfield and Overbrook Park, I passed the Cobbs Creek Golf Course all the time, I never knew that the first black PGA Tour winner played there, honestly never really saw anyone at the course. So I’m really glad that I’m going to be a part of a project that’s going to restore it, that’s going to give it back to the community. And of course, our plan is to invest in the future of Philadelphia, but really in the future of the community surrounding the course that’s our focus on the young people around there, and the citizens around there, of course, as well. With this restoration, we’re going to restore the course, of course, we’re going to rehab the eroded creek that’s going to have a very big environmental impact, it’s going to prevent flooding, it’s going to create a more resilient ecosystem, building the educational facility, we’ve already sort of gone into a little bit. And we’re also going to be hosting an annual PGA Tour event that’s going to have a substantial economic impact on the region. We expect the amount that’s going to be generated to be in the seven figures. So it’s really going to be good for the community, really going to be good in terms of revenue, but to be excellent in terms of jobs as well. This is just a little bit of an overview of the campus. And I’m going to try and zoom in in just a second, there’s a little bit of a more zoomed in graphic towards the end. This is for all those who are interested in the golf aspect of it. And as Maria stated, I have not so much as touched a golf club, I feel like at some point I’ll probably have to learn. But this is going to be an awesome golf course. So if you’re into this, this is the part where you’ll really want to listen up, it is going to be an 18 hole championship course, as well as having a nine hole Karakung course, a driving range, a golf Performance Center, a golf education short course where we’ll be able to teach students in the area to play golf who haven’t been exposed to it before. And of course, the Education Center, which will be in the middle of the property, it’s on Lansdowne Avenue, you guys can see that, and I’m sort of circling it with my mouse right now. And later on, you’ll be able to see a little bit more of an enlarged view of it.
So with that said, the current conditions, as you can see, on the left hand side, there are eroding banks, those streams are overflowing, there’s disconnected floodplains which create such an environmental hazard and risk to the surrounding community and beautifully. so we have a state of the art team that does restoration work, and looks at stream channels and flood lines. And this whole team is designing the three miles of the stream restoration and all the tributaries that surround that. And there is 37 acres of wetland that they are creating, which is really a 10 square mile area where the drainage areas are going to flow correctly. And this is all done under the scrutiny of the Audubon sanctuary. So, so many eyes are going to be on how this project when it comes to restoration of the streams and waterways and drainage areas that it will become really a resource, also for education, some of the things that people can learn with the streams and such we’re hoping through the educational center to connect deeply with the environmental sustainability that they’re creating. So with that said, why Morgan and I joined this mission, our whole team, there’s more than more than I on this team. But we were so impressed by the commitment that this founding Cobbs Creek Foundation has to the community, every bit of the revenue, 100% of the revenue that is generated in this golf course. As you see at the top of this graph, all the Cobbs Creek Golf Club money generated through the championship course, any memberships and there’ll be different tiers of memberships, there’ll be different price points, committee members will come in at a lower price point, people who are coming from out of area will have a higher price point. It’s equitable. So there’s access. So that championship course will be played, and anyone can play on it. Same with the Karakung course, there will also be event space where there’ll be the opportunity to have, and host professional events, which will generate revenue. There’s going to be a driving range, that 50 bay driving range that Morgan told you about, that’s just going to bring in someone that might have, you know, time at five o’clock on a on a Thursday night wants to come practice their game, that’s going to be a great source of revenue. And just to give you a short little timeline, the educational center and the driving range, hope to be open in the spring of 2023. That’s their commitment, the Education Center is going to be the first building built on that campus. And we’re calling it as it should be an education and community engagement center, this center is with and for you all in the surrounding community, you will shape the vision of that center. And we’ll talk more about that in a few slides. But that driving range initially is going to develop at the same time as the Education Center, so that it can help fund some of the programs right away that we’d like to launch. It will also provide food and beverage, not only from, you know, smaller venues around the golf course, but also to build a restaurant that can bring in people who just want to go out to have a meal, and then merchandise that or that is sold, all those things will generate money that will go directly and only to the educational programming that we’re running. And we’re going to be more specific in a few minutes, about the community program that we want to work with and enable to happen. And then any scholarships for golf teams for any special programming for mentoring programs. So there’s such a vision for where these resources that will be gathered will go with, with the sole focus, as you can see, for a community impact for the zip codes that surround this golf course, is where all the resources are going to be channeled to.
And just to go a little bit deeper into the timeline, we started signing the lease in December of 2021. That wasn’t finalized, like Maria said until about a couple of weeks ago, we’re excited to have launched site preparation this week, and in May of 2022, we’re going to begin restoring the course and start really constructing the course in May of 2023. As Maria stated, that’s when the Education Center is set to open and the driving range. And then in May of 2024, the course should be fully open then, and they should be self-sustaining. And that 100% of the proceeds, as Maria stated from the course from the driving range from any kind of restaurants or stores that will be there are going back into the education center and into community programming. I want to emphasize that this is all tentative. We’re living in unprecedented times in terms of COVID in terms of just everything. So this is our ideal timeline. If it changes a little bit, we’ll be sure to keep you updated. And now Maria is going to start by going into the reason why we are excited to be a part of this project, the Education and Community Engagement center.
So I gave you a glimpse about the Impact Center, we were a nonprofit that formed four years ago. I was actually an educator in a school and I ran the diversity, equity inclusion programs and our service learning programs. With that said, all of us are educators on this team, four of us left the school we were teaching in to form this nonprofit. And this nonprofit was dedicated to helping address the flawed service-learning approach, where people would go and they do a service project without knowing or understanding the community they were serving or the nonprofit they were volunteering in. They didn’t understand enough to really have an impact and our posture as an organization these last four years has been working with public and private schools. Pre COVID we were in 21 public and private schools in the area. We work with faith based institutions, designing social justice, civic engagement programming, and and we’ve partnered with 60 nonprofits in a seven mile radius from our office that’s in Haverford until Cobbs Creek opens. With that said, merging with the Cobbs Creek Foundation, we will become Impact at Cobbs Creek. And we will run the same kind of approach with humility, dignity and respect for those we are serving alongside. We spent three months, just really listening to community stakeholders members who were suggested to us that we’d have conversations with. We have spent time with principals, administrators, we’ve talked to Cobbs Creek CHOP, we’ve talked to the Police Athletic League. So we’ve spent time with people in the surrounding community seeking to hear the narrative in our listening campaign that we did for three months, as we shaped this program. And so with that said, we are excited to merge. Our mission is authentic, we want to build on the assets we do not and will not have a deficit mindset in any of the work that we have done in our history the last four years, or in our present and future. We are thrilled to be a part of the Cobbs Creek surrounding community and listen to those who have been boots on the ground and involved. And we’ve had the wonderful honor of leaning into the Overbrook Civic Association and being there for community cleanups and bringing students alongside us. We’re running programs in schools, which will go into detail later, we are committed to the community’s narrative, and will take that narrative and let it direct our actions and our programs. With that said, this is just a kind of a visual, if you will, that we have this two pronged approach, that we get we in our plan or civic engagement plan, that we’re looking to partner deeply with the Cobbs Creek area, schools and partners. And then we will merge some of our out of area schools and partners and nonprofits, and bring together those assets and experiences to really, really inform and empower the great work that has already been going on in this community.
And I just want to emphasize Maria, you set it up wonderfully, but I just want to emphasize the Cobbs Creek area partners in schools, that’s not Cobbs Creek, geographically. That’s the area surrounding the Cobbs Creek Golf Course. So sometimes that can be a little bit confusing. Our focus is the schools and the community members surrounding the golf course. And that’s just something that I felt we needed to highlight. I want to talk a little bit about our approach. That is to create programming that reflects the wants and needs of the community. You all guide us. And as Maria stated, we started out this project by talking to school administrators, talking to the OPCA, talking to any kind of stakeholders we could find in the community. Like Maria said, we went to Cobbs Creek CHOP. We’ve had dozens of meetings by this point, with organizations in the area, because we wanted to hear: what are some of the things that you’re facing? What would you like to see out of programming that’s going to continue, we want to build programming that people come to, we want people to feel like the center is theirs, we want people to be proud to be near the golf course. And that’s why we really want to keep these lines of communication open. So any kind of suggestions that you all have in terms of people we should meet, things we should offer problems that you’ve encountered anything like that, I’m going to put my email in at the end, I would love to schedule a zoom with you or a phone call, or you can just email me the problem, I’ll email you back. We want to keep the lines of communication open. And that is because this education center is going to be state of the art, it’s going to address the values you see to the right of the screen. Academic Achievement is one of the ones that I would say is primary. Of course, golf skills and values are also primary. We know that golf is not a particularly black sport, we’ve not really been introduced to it, we don’t have the spaces to play it in. And I’m proud that we’ll be able to give students an opportunity to do so through the golf course. And all this, of course, is free of charge to the students, the students wouldn’t have to pay anything at all to come to the center, all the programming that we’re going to offer, everything we offer, the community is free. We’re also gonna have career readiness programs and financial education programs. And all of this is to promote community cohesion, and really to, like Maria said, build on those assets. And now I’d like to go into a little bit of the development details. There are gonna be some maps and everything that you guys can see. And then we can start taking questions if you guys have any. So again, you’ve already seen this map, but I want to zoom in a little bit more. The Education Center is right in the middle of the course, on Lansdowne Avenue, we are going to make sure that there’s some safety measures in place right so that there’s not too much congestion of traffic so that students get there safely. And that is still in the works, but what I can assure you is that it is a priority. I also wanted to show you the driving range that’s right behind the educational center. And there’s Rose playground. But that’s what you can have in relation, you can compare that to where the Education Center is, so you’ll know roughly where it is. And I just want to zoom out a little bit. We are going to rebuild the clubhouse, it burned down quite some time ago. So we just want to make it beautiful. Again, it’ll be a great area for people to congregate while they’re playing golf or at any time really, it’s not a particularly large building, but it will be there for anyone who wants to come and who wants to take a little break while they’re at the golf course. These are the plans for the driving range. And also for the educational center. And these are pretty self explanatory, the driving range is along Lansdowne Avenue. And I don’t think there’s really anything else here I need to highlight. But of course, if you have any questions, you can ask those towards the end. And then we’re also going to have a golf halfway house. That’s really just a bathroom area, and everything for people to go into, it’s going to be one of the smallest buildings on the course. And of course, the educational center, this is just a rendering of it, it’s going to be quite large, it’ll be two floors, three with the basement, we’re going to have space for students to learn golf space for students to receive tutoring, community space for events, it’s really just going to be incredible. And we’re very excited about it, students will be able to come in through the entrance that’s on Lansdowne. And there will be, of course, safety processes and everything for that. But it’s going to be quite a beautiful facility. And so with all that stated, I’m going to stop sharing my screen. And I wanted to open this up for questions. I guess the best way to do that is for people to raise virtual hands or for or to put them in the chat. So I’ll start out by ones that are in the chat.
It looks like MB raised a hand. So it says “how much parking will be available?” That’s a great question. There is going to be a large parking lot on the course. I wish I could see it on the map, but it’s right to the right of the Education Center.
Community Member/Question Asker:
My name is Monica actually, I’ve been learning about this getting ready to happen. I was going to ask about the parking. And the other thing I just wanted to let you know, I know there were surveyors out. But I just wanted to make sure that they’re aware of the gas pipelines back there. (Morgan answers: “They are.”) Okay, that was a big concern of mine. I’m really excited about this. And I have one other question. How are you going to get the word out to the students? Is it going to go through the schools they’re in? And or is this going to include kids that have dropped out of school? And how do you get the word to them? And about the security that we’re going to have there? Especially about the hangouts at nighttime, it’s really dark. I was going to question the lighting also.
Morgan, can I answer the school question? Because I forgot to pull that in earlier. Morgan and I are already running programs and Lewis C Cassidy school Overbrook Educational Center. And we’re offering teacher support programs and professional development programs to kind of support and bolster these teachers who’ve done an extraordinary job during very, very trying times. We are running programs with second and third graders – social emotional readiness programs, helping problem solve, helping deal with emotional management. So our goal is to keep our relationships growing in the local schools and as we hire more staff to run more programs, and that those will continue even outside when the Education Center begins. Those programs we will maintain and have strong ties in the school so they will refer school students to us. And our goal is to have a presence, an ongoing presence with the community schools, and then we will have staff like a Resource Navigator that will be the contact for the schools to say you know, I’m just going to use Morgan’s name. Morgan’s in fourth grade. She’s struggling with these topics, you know, we’ll have teachers who have direct access as well as administrators. So our goal is to have consistent allyship with all the local schools so they can identify the kids and then match those needs with what Morgan said. For after school tutoring programs, we’ll get volunteers, retired teachers from in and out of areas like we’re going to use our resources that we have. And then we’re going to have the ability to bring in nonprofits that are doing exceptional work. Like Mighty Writers, we’ve met with Mighty Writers, they want to come hang a shingle, two or three days a week, meeting with different age groups helping them with writing, Read By Fourth, another organization, we’re speaking to them, we’re also speaking to Peters Place, which is a trauma informed grief support organization that works with youth and how to work through, you know, anxiety and trauma. And so all these nonprofits we’re speaking to will have their programs. Also there will be a hub of resources, not only in the Educational Center, but also in the schools surrounding in partnership with them. So we will identify needs and will grow these programs, at with the schools and with any other community stakeholders, any of you that might have ideas, we are in such a beginning phase, we just launched and so we really welcome any guidance, any, you know, any voices that will allow this to truly authentically be a community asset.
And Monica, just to answer the other couple of parts of your question. In terms of security, I will tell you, that’s one of our top priorities. None of this matters if the students aren’t safe. And so we’re going to make sure that happens, what that will look like, we’re still working on and we will keep you updated as it formulates but certainly we will be making sure that the area is well lit, and that the area is walkable.
This sort of ties into your question, Angela that I see in the chat that says “will Lansdowne be walkable for students who take the bus?” That is certainly our intent, again, what it will look like we’ll continue to keep the community updated.
And then Monica, the last thing you asked was about? How are we going to work with students who may have dropped out of high school who might not be in school, one of our goals is to increase graduation rates in the area surrounding the course. So we’re hoping that that’s something that is something that we can see come to fruition, for those who have already dropped out, we are hoping that they will be welcome to the center through sort of our social media outreaches. And through our direct connection to the principles so they could let us know if there’s someone who’s in need of our services. So thank you for those questions.
Morgan, I’ll add one little thing to that. We hope to run a GED program and ACT course bolstering moments and also vocational training if education post high school is not the track that a young person wants to take, get them into some vocational opportunities. So as we grow over time, and we follow students through this, the journey of finding their purpose, if you will, we hope to be listening again deeply, and responding and partnering with organizations that will really help meet youth where they are, and gently but surely, push them forward.
Community Member/Question Asker:
I just want to make sure that there’s lighting at night, because I have a feeling that the clubhouse is going to become a hangout at nighttime when it’s closed.
There will definitely be lighting. And I can say that without checking with anyone, we’re going to make sure that it is extremely well lit, because we want to avoid dangerous situations. One of the first steps right is to make sure that the area is well lit. And so we’ll be adding that.
And then I see a couple of questions in the chat. “Are we going to partner with First Tee?” Yes, that is our intent to partner with them. We’re already in conversations with them.
I see Jessica’s asked “What about Lamberton?” We are trying to get into Lamberton. Now we are in Lewis C. Cassidy, I know that they joined buildings for the short term. We are running programming, me and Maria just by ourselves now. So there’s only the two of us. As we continue to expand, we’re going to expand more in schools and the surrounding area.
Angela, I will certainly drop our social media in the chat for the Foundation before we end tonight.
Bridget is asking “what jobs will be available for the community?” So Bridget, we’re going to have jobs with construction in the course that’s going to take numerous people. So everything that we just mentioned, that’s going to take dozens of people to put together physically, those jobs will be available and I’m sure they’ll be advertised well. I’m going to continue to check with my superiors about when things are uploaded, and maybe we can contact the OPC about how people might apply for hiring. But certainly there would be jobs offered to the community members.
Certainly once the center opens, we want the staff of the Center to look like the community And that’s what’s going to happen.
Next it says, “Will you be accepting resumes for folks interested in working the ground staff?” If I’m being honest, I don’t know. But what I can tell you is that I will check on that for you. And I will get back to you. I’m going to put my email in the chat right now.
Community Member/Question Asker:
My first question is, “will you be able to send an email about this meeting tonight? Or the slides from this meeting tonight?”
Sure. Sure. Certainly, I can definitely send an email with the slides from tonight. Um, what I would probably do if it’s okay with you, Angela, is that I’m going to share with the OPCA, and then they could put it out because that’s how the invitation originally went out. But definitely, I will share that.
Community Member/Question Asker:
Okay, thank you for that. Um, my next question is, I’m sorry, I was overwhelmed with a lot of information. You guys did an amazing job. But sometimes my ADHD, it just kicks in. My first question is about the Education Center, “is that going to be totally different from the actual golfing program that’s going to be happening?”
Yes and no. So the golfing programming that’s going to be happening, is going to be run through the Educational Center as well. There’s a space there for First Tee, to help teach students golf. But the Educational Center is primarily its own thing in the sense that we’re offering programs that have nothing to do with golf. And that’ll be the vast majority of the programming that’s available.
I just want to say the golf program that will be character golf, it’s going to base itself not just on the game of golf, but what character traits are learned from golf. And for those of you who might not be familiar with First Tee, I don’t want to assume everyone is – I didn’t know at first until I got involved in this project. They are state of the art recognized organization locally, they do great things working with youth. And you can go to their website, and see that the character embedded curriculum they have and the way they go about the game of golf, it’s more than a game of golf, it’s life skills, you know, that they embed life skills in the way they deliver their mission.
Community Member/Question Asker:
Yes, thank you so much for that explanation. My next question is, “How many students do you foresee serving?”
Excellent question. Right now, we’re still in the process of estimating that, what I can tell you is that it’s going to be a significant amount of students, not of course, in the hundreds, but we’re hoping to serve as many as we possibly can. I don’t want to put numbers out there until we’ve seen how the center is built and the space and the square footage of it. But we’re going to try and serve as many students as we can. And the different ways that will serve students are going to vary. So there are some students who might come for regular programming. And there are some students who might come for financial education, or for programming related to SAT prep. And so if you count those numbers, it’s also a little bit difficult for me to estimate. So we’ll keep you updated. But we are going to try and serve as many as we possibly can.
I see Jessica’s question, “what’s the age range for the students?”, our focus for the time being is K through 8. But we’re also going to offer programming, when we open, that’s going to be available to high schoolers, like Maria stated, some financial education courses, standardized testing prep, and then of course, anything else that they might need like grief counseling, etc. Our target age range for right now is K through 8. But we’re going to expand that upon opening.
And I’m just going to accent what you’re saying. We have not decided everything. Do you know what I mean? We’re investigating, we’re asking, we’re shaping. So our curriculum, what we offer, we have some ideas. We’re in the midst, we have an education committee that Michelle’s on, she can speak to that. With that said, we are shaping this curriculum around what the community says they need from the voices of educators, principals, stakeholders from the community, like you all taking the time to show up tonight. So we have a lot of ideas, but are, you know, in the spring of 2023, we will have a defined, you know, number of students we can serve over this amount of time in these kinds of courses. We’re in a development launching stage and we have some great ideas but we can’t be all things to all people right away we are we will build over time because we want to deliver excellence that meets the needs of what the voice of the community say they they need
Community Member/Question Asker:
“How far back is the clearing going to go? I live on the Farrington Road side of the golf course. And right now there’s a lot of overgrown grass and trees and everything. And I’ve seen a couple of deer get caught up and have to wiggle their way out. So how far back is it going to be cleared out?”
There’ll be a relatively substantial amount of clearing because the course isn’t even playable the way it is. Now there’s a lot of shrubbery and things that you’re talking about greenery there. I believe that it’s going to go back to Farrington Road, I’m going to check on that just to make sure for you, but there’s going to be a substantial amount. So I would expect yes, but I will circle back and make sure that the answer is in fact, yes.
Same Community Member/Question Asker:
Yeah, because 25 years ago, when I moved here, it was all clear, you could just see all the way back. So now you can’t see anything because of the overgrown trees. I was just curious as to, you know, what you guys are gonna do?
I’ve heard that from a few community members, and I can’t envision it. I’m only 27. But that’s incredible. And I’m excited to see it again. Yeah, it was beautiful. Yeah, you’ll be able to see the skyline from certain points on the course apparently to like the Philadelphia skyline. So that’ll be very nice to see.
Community Member/Question Asker:
Other questions? Yes. “I just want to confirm that you said, um, for all the students, this program is going to be free of charge to all community members, right?” Morgan: Yes, ma’am.
Okay, “how do you prioritize who you take?”
That’s an incredible question. We are working on that right now. I’m gonna be honest, our process is not yet defined. But we want to make sure that it’s a fair and equitable process that prioritizes community members.The community is the only people we’re really seeking to serve. It’s gonna have kids from everywhere from North Philly, from every community that might, you know, benefit from programming, our priorities, the kids surrounding the course and the community members surrounding the course. Beautiful, thank you so much, no problem.
Community Member/Question Asker:
“Why is there a difference in the tier pricing?”
We want local members to have the cheapest price, so local people from the community will be able to play for the cheapest rate. Um, I honestly would have to look again, at the tier of pricing to see how many tiers there are, I can tell you, that’s the reason why there’s a difference between the community member rate and the outside the community member rate, like if you’re not a Philadelphian, so that’s something that you’d be like showing your ID and then you would get a certain rate.
From what I understand, I’m not a golfer, but what I know about golf, so if I’m coming into Atlanta, and I want to pay on East Lake Golf Course, it’s a higher ticket for me to come in to and, you know, to a community’s golf course, and playing their course where if you’re a resident, in your in that area, you have a lower rate. So that’s the understanding I have. So those people, those people who surround the golf course and I don’t know what the geographic circle of that is, and where it becomes out of area, which will increase the price. So the focus is the least expensive entry point, they haven’t been decided, but we’ll be closer to it as you get further away, the price increases because they wanted to serve first and foremost, the the surrounding area. With that said, something else that we haven’t said, we hope to start golf teams, like at Lamberton you know, the seventh and eighth graders can compete so we’re looking at developing, again free of charge, offering all the the resources needed for that in the sense of clubs and shoes and things like that, that will have gear for the golf teams. And that we may start like, you know, competitive teams against each other and build on that momentum over time. And again, we will hire someone that will be the liaison to the schools that has a golf understanding and also colleges and universities will be accessing this course for their practices and stuff and they will volunteer, that will be one of our requirements for some of these colleges and universities. They’ll spend some time tutoring and working with the kids in the Education Center. So we will build a system that everyone is adding a value, if you will, and that it will be expanding the opportunity of golf to the surrounding school as just a new after school club, if you will.
Thank you Maria, I see. Are you connected with the Philadelphia Department of Recreation? We have spoken with the Philadelphia Department of Recreation, that’s the extent of our connection. I am really not well briefed. Maria, I don’t know if you want to speak a little bit more?
Yeah, they’re very much embedded in this project. They’re a part of why we are doing it. They actually spoke at an event we hosted. Yes, we are deeply rooted with the Department of Recreation, we’re also working with the Police Athletic League in their West Philadelphia area to bolster programs there and when the Boys and Girls Club comes, you know, they had a little shift in what their planning was, we hope to work and partner with them as well and use the different resources we will bring and come together as a community, our goal is to collaborate. Our singular goal is to bring together the resources of this community and offer a place that just fosters growth and achievement and pride.
Monica, I see you have a hand raised.
Community Member/Question Asker:
Yeah, I have a lot. Every time I hear more things that are just so exciting. I was thinking about living here all these years and kids go back there and they play football, and they just go and do ruckus on that golf course. Are you going to put a fence up around somehow? Or how are you going to keep people off the course, when you want to make it into such a great course for PGA Tours? How do we keep this from happening? Because you know, these days, people of all ages are not very respectful. So what do we do about that?
We are planning on having some level of fencing around the course, we don’t want to cut it completely off from the community. So when we start getting into the process of building plans and looking at the fencing, certainly we want to make sure security is a priority, that people just aren’t wandering on to the course at all hours of the night. So we are going to make sure that it’s closed off to that extent. But like I said, we don’t want to close it off from community members who might want to be walking through the course. So as we continue to go through our building plans, I’ll make sure that we keep everyone updated. And perhaps by the next meeting or the meeting after that, we’ll have a very definitive answer to what the fencing might look like. So I guess that’s a long way of saying yes, we will have fencing, but I do not know to what extent yet.
Okay, thank you.
No problem. Are there other questions?
Community Member/Question Asker:
Hi, I have a question. Is it true that there’s going to be reality shows being filmed there? That was like a rumor. And I just want to confirm that. Okay. Thank you for the confirmation.
That is a funny rumor. No, no, the only reality is it’s going to be a great opportunity for all of us!
No, housewives. We’re not gonna gather together? It’s not gonna be reality TV? Okay, disappointing for me. But no, we’re planning on having that!
Morgan’s upset, now. She’s not sure if she’s going to be a part of the project. I don’t know.
And you guys, just to let you know, as Morgan said, we hope to have at least a quarterly q&a town hall meeting. So any question that generates over time, or you didn’t ask tonight, or you forgot? Please follow through. Morgan and I read the emails together, and we get the answers as best we can. And we will bring those answers back to you at our next meeting. This is a long project, you know, it’s really a year and a half so your questions make us better.
Mr. Gilbert says “will community members be able to rent space for functions?” At this time, our intention is to be able to have some kind of space that community members can use or rent. I will have a formal answer to that question as we progress a little bit more. But yes, our intention is to be able to have a space for community members to use.
Yes. Miss Harris?
Community Member/Question Asker:
Yes. So I work at Children’s Hospital. I work in a research facility on South Street. And I do live in this community. And I’ve been in this community for 23 years, wondering what how can I get involved in with you and others. So you can have some additional input? Because again, I’ve been here for 23 years. I’ve seen a lot of them, right? I’m near the 17 hole. And as someone else indicated, when I first moved here, I was able to see the beautiful golfers on the golf course. And now it just looks like Jurassic Park. And, you know, I’ve been told all kinds of things, you know, well, you know, the neighborhood is changing. I don’t know what they were insinuating. But I do know what they were insinuating. So I’m glad to hear that this is coming together. And I’m really looking forward to that. So how can I become more involved with you, your team and just provide some insight?
That’s an excellent question. Miss Harris, would you like to zoom with me? You’re the kind of community member, you’ve been there for 25 years, that we’d love just to meet with and to start discussing that out how we might partner with you and what we can learn from you. So if you would not be opposed to meeting with us, either in person or virtually via zoom, I would love to have a sit down, longer conversation about how that might look. Oh, that’ll be great!
And we’d love that to extend to anyone on this call, Morgan reached out that her email is right there in the chat, take that email, and any of you all that would love a one on one with Morgan and I or two on one, invite other people, you know, you are 22 amazing people to show up tonight and be here with us. This hopefully will double in numbers the next time because we want you to invite someone to get into this project and lean in with us. So our hope is to hear your voices. And this is just an introduction tonight, we want to have a continuous dialogue with you and our availability to you is 100%. You know, we will find a time for anyone that would love to speak with us individually. Thank you so much.
No problem at all. Are there any final questions that people have? I think we have a question. Time for about maybe one or two more questions. I want to honor your time.
Community Member/Question Asker:
“You said everything is going to start around May of this year?”
Yes, the site preparation will start around May of this year for formal site preparation.
But the Educational Center will not open till the spring of 2023. That’s when all the programming will launch there. But we’ll be running programming in local schools. We are right now. And we’re going to build the number of schools we reach leading up to that launch.
Community Member/Question Asker:
“And you said the Educational Center is going to be where the gatehouse, whatever they call it, where it burned down, is that what’s going to be located?”
Right across the street. So it’ll be right across the street a little bit. It’s right next to the old driving range.
Community Member/Question Asker:
“I think behind Brompton road, down near the apartments, there’s an opening where there’s a lot of trees, and they’re very old. Is that area going to be taken care of? Well also right from the end of the driveway into the golf course, the end of the driveway into the golf course. In the back of Brockton Road, like where the apartment building is, there is an opening there, and it’s just trees, it looks like just weeds. And I was curious, since it’s old trees there that could come down and have a few years back during heavy winds. I was wondering if they were going to take care of that area?
I believe so. But let me check on that for you. If I could just in fact, I’m going to direct message you right now, if you could just share your email with me that would be helpful. So I’m going to message you right now. And you can message me back right using that link I just sent you and then you can give me your email. And I will definitely check on that area. Around 76 to 66 Brompton road, I would assume anything that’s already kind of falling down or in disarray, is probably going to be one of the priorities for us to start clearing out. But I just want to make sure before I tell you definitively.
Morgan, can I just share something? Hello, everybody. My name is Michelle. I live on the 1600 block of Ashutosh road and we had some trees and similar shapes that were really not well, and at risk of falling. And what happened was Parks and Recs came out and they’re in the horticultural society and basically, if the tree is not dead, they will not remove. What they will do is trim back some limbs and make it more I guess safer. However, any tree that is deemed dead in their, you know, horticultural expertise, they will actually remove but it’s actually Parks and Recreation, especially if it’s not directly on the golf course. So that’s something that we had to work very diligently in order to even have happen. They did come out. And they did bring out surveyors and things of that nature. And it was a lengthy process. So I just wanted to kind of just kind of put that out there to the community.
Thank you, Michelle. That was very helpful. Thank you so much for that. Alrighty, well, I want to thank everyone for joining us tonight. Again, my email is in the chat, please feel free to email me at any time. I’ve taken a couple of emails down as well. So I’ll be reaching out to those people. And I hope that you all have a wonderful evening. This is just our first meeting. We look forward to seeing you again soon. And to bring everyone into this incredible project, this is going to be wonderful for the community. And I couldn’t be more excited about it. So the next meeting is going to be within the next three to four months. I don’t want to put anything on the books right now, because we’re not sure, but certainly within the next three, four months maximum.
But if you’d love an individual meeting, if you’d love to have some conversations, our focus is on you, on this community. And we will make the time to hear your voices. So if there’s something that you would like to talk about before our next community town hall gathering, reach out, and you guys, this really meant a lot to us that you showed up, we threw it out there. And to have this kind of presence gives us such hope and joy, for the work that we will be doing. And we want to do it faithfully with you, alongside you. That says a lot about the community. So thank you so much. Thank you. wonderful evening. We look forward to seeing you soon. Thank you.
Right Take care, everybody. Thank you. Thank you!