To the Editor:
The Dekalb Park District is currently addressing the financial sustainability of its golf operations. In the process, we encourage the public to see the District staff and, more specifically, Executive Director Amy Doll, as a positive asset to find answers to what seems like very difficult questions.
Golf has many indisputable benefits: healthy competition, camaraderie, enjoyment of the outdoors, skills development, relaxation, etc. For these and many other benefits, we have every motivation to not only support but also strengthen the mechanisms that maintain our public golf courses. Those mechanisms are directly managed by the staff in our park district.
Assuming that past achievements of the district staff are the best predictors of future success, we have much to be optimistic about. Under the current leadership, successful projects are numerous. Some of the least-known completed projects are the negotiation with the Kishwaukee Water Reclamation District to share expenses for the construction of a sled hill, which will soon be open; the timely completion of Lions Park including grant application and reimbursement from the state; and, the completion of the Prairie Park Trail extension achieved in collaboration with the city of DeKalb and Northern Illinois University. More recognizable events supported by the District include the Cardboard Boat Regatta, the Fourth of July 5K race, and Polar Palooza.
More recently, we had the opportunity to witness Doll directing the development of the master plan for Welsh Park and the subsequent application to the Open Space Lands Acquisition and Development (OSLAD) grant to support the future implementation of this plan. The time and energy invested as well as her multiple connections through the community to make this happen testify to the great resource Doll has become to our park district.
As the park board struggles to provide services under difficult financial constraints, we endorse Doll’s and her staff’s leadership to articulate options and solutions that support the sustainable operation of our golf courses. We are confident that Doll and her staff appreciate the value of the sport and, in view of past successes, are likely the best allies of the community in realizing a bright future for it.