As our elected officials and community members struggle to decide what to do with Port Townsend Golf Course, I suggest they look no farther than Sequim’s Carrie Blake Park to envision …
As our elected officials and community members struggle to decide what to do with Port Townsend Golf Course, I suggest they look no farther than Sequim’s Carrie Blake Park to envision what’s possible. This elegantly-designed, environmentally-friendly, ADA-accessible park packs so much into its
52 acres that it truly serves the entire community.
The two land masses are similar in size: the Port Townsend Golf Course (PTGC) sits on 58 acres; Carrie Blake Park is 52 acres. PTGC serves golfers with a nine-hole golf course, driving range, putting green, and chipping area. By the golf course’s own statistics, in 2021 only 212 rounds of golf were played — or slightly more than
½ round per day.
Carrie Blake Park serves children, athletes, seniors, bird watchers, gardeners, walkers, dog lovers, music fans, skateboarders, picnickers, and even wildlife. Carrie Blake Park is able to serve such a wide range of Sequim citizens and visitors because it has so many amazing features, including a Japanese garden, a botanical garden, walking paths, pickleball courts, covered picnic and barbecue facilities, an amphitheater, shuffleboard and bocce ball courts, a fishing pond, several duck ponds, a stream, two playgrounds, playing fields, a BMX track, a skateboard park, a dog agility course, three off-leash dog parks, soccer and softball fields, plenty of benches under shady trees, and even an event center with a commercial kitchen! Visit this park anytime, even on a cold, blustery day, and you’ll see dozens of people and dogs enjoying the dog parks, playgrounds, walking paths, and ponds. In warmer months, the park fairly buzzes with people enjoying the amenities, including picnics, barbecues, and the amphitheater for concerts.
Golf courses are notoriously unfriendly to the environment, consuming lots of water and pesticides. The Port Townsend Golf Club enjoys up to 9 million gallons of Port Townsend city water free of charge each year. In contrast, Carrie Blake Park was designed as a water re-use demonstrations project. Much of the park isn’t irrigated. Instead they use natural mulches. The parts of the park that require irrigation re-uses water from the city. The well-designed ponds regularly attract a large variety of birds and ducks, including mallards, pintails, buffleheads, American wigeons, bald eagles, and more.
Port Townsend’s golfers certainly deserve a place to play. They have it. Discovery Bay Golf Course is an 18-hole, 225-acre course that GolfPass gives 4.1 stars out of 5 and reviewers call “one of the best kept secrets in the whole state” and it’s only 14 minutes from downtown Port Townsend.
People who want to save the golf course — even those who don’t play golf — want green space.
I agree. Our city deserves a big, green space that all of us can, and will, use. Let’s turn the very heart of Port Townsend into a place that serves not just a handful of golfers, but kids and dog walkers, runners and bocce ball players, music lovers and bird watchers.