Current Brackenridge Tract that includes Lions Municipal Golf Course
The item up for discussion on Thursday, during the Board of Regents meeting, was the public opinion of the proposed development plans for the Brackenridge Tract (Lions Municipal Golf Course included) located in West Austin. Folks of Austin were able to sign up prior to the meeting if they wanted to make their opinion heard. Each person who spoke was allotted three minutes to which four members of the Board of Regents listened.
The voice of the twenty people who spoke was quite clear that the University of Texas needs to rethink their stand and look at putting together a plan to save this massive green space. Golfers and non-golfers alike presented from all different angles showing how important keeping this land is to the people of Austin.
General Marshall, who is a long time golfer and grew up caddying at Lions, was witness to the monumental desegregation at Muny in 1951. Marshall made it clear this led numerous African-Americans from all over the South to jump in their cars and head to Lions Municipal because it was a place that welcomed everyone. This is what Lions is all about; welcoming people of all races, gender, classes and age.
Scott Roudebush, a West Austin resident, grew up playing on Lions Municipal and talked about all of the amazing bonds of friendship he was able to make while golfing at Muny. He mentioned the course is a rare jewel and wanted to know, "where are the kids to going to go?"
Peter Barbour, founder of Save Muny, spoke of the rich history of Lions Municipal and said, "Muny has touched the lives of many for 84 years and needs to continue to touch lives for another 100."
There were comments made from international graduate students who came to the University of Texas solely because graduate housing was available for them and their families. Holly Moore, a graduate student, also put an emphasis on the affordable graduate housing and how the proposed plans are not family friendly.
Another common theme that was made clear by everyone, including State Representatives and Austin Government officials who spoke, is the need to have open communication between the City of Austin and the University of Texas regarding potential plans for the Brackenridge Tract. Both sides need to agree to work together.
Lions Municipal has been recognized by the Texas Historic Commission as the first desegregated golf course in the South. Lions is a place where young people learn the game of golf and lessons in life. Joe Louis, Ben Hogan, Byron Nelson, Harvey Penick, and Ben Crenshaw have all walked the grounds of Muny. To turn away and ignore all of these amazing qualities would be an absolute shame. This meeting was a public forum and not one person stood before the board to say how wonderful it would be to destroy this land to build condos, retail, and office space. No one said we would love to add 9,000 to 13,000 additional residents in West Austin. No one said this development is going to be great for Austin. This speaks volumes for the people of Austin's stand on this matter and is something the University of Texas needs to listen to.
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