Analysis: In UMD golf course debate, open space matters. So what is open space?

In the contentious debate over a proposal to build athletic field facilities on the University of Maryland Golf Course, defenders of the links have settled around two rhetorical framing devices. One is concerned with maintaining the golf course in its present operational state: 18 holes and a driving range with easy access to and from the clubhouse. But another, broader argument is concerned with preserving the golf course as a source of “open space.” This argument is frequently employed by nearby non-golfing residents who oppose redevelopment of the course. This argument is a tool, one that indicates to others why they should value the presence of a golf course in their neighborhood, despite perhaps not golfing themselves.

Cottage City, Mount Rainier, Laurel recognized for ‘green’ initiatives

For the first time since the program began, Cottage City has been certified as a Sustainable Maryland town. It joins more than 35 cities across Maryland recognized for environmental stewardship policy leadership by the Environmental Finance Center at the University of Maryland. Additionally, Mount Rainier and Laurel’s environmental policy efforts saw those Prince George’s County municipalities re-certified as Sustainable Maryland communities. To achieve certification, municipalities must form a Green Team comprised of local residents, community leaders, municipal staff and officials and complete a variety sustainability-related projects. Points are given depending on the type of the project undertaken Cities must earn at least 150 such points and submit the appropriate documentation as evidence that the Sustainable Maryland Certified requirements have been satisfied.

College Park Mayor: Keep UMD golf course ‘undeveloped’

College Park’s Mayor Patrick Wojahn wants the University of Maryland’s golf course to remain “undeveloped.” His remarks come as officials at the school are proposing to build athletic fields and a track and field facility on the campus’ 18-hole golf course on University Boulevard. The proposal has been controversial among some local residents and golfers (however, University of Maryland’s Student Government Association president is in favor of the plan). Opponents of the plan fear it could harm the long-term viability of the course, which was called “the best 18-hole golf course inside the Beltway in Maryland or Virginia” by in 2017. Opponents of the plan also raise environmental objections, noting that the golf course is the site of a monarch butterfly garden and a stopover point for migratory birds. Wojahn, in a weekly message to constituents posted on Nextdoor, echoed many of those concerns.