Keep Heritage Oaks Open

Keep Heritage Oaks Open

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Julie Green started this petition to Harrisonburg City Mayor Deanna Reed and

Harrisonburg is in danger of losing a valuable natural asset, Heritage Oaks golf course.  Some people look at Heritage Oaks, as “just a golf course”, and think that because not everyone plays golf, it’s of little value to the community.  But those people would be missing the sense of community and self that goes along with caring for and utilizing Heritage Oaks.  Golf is more than just a sport.  It instills in its players a sense of community and reinforces core values like honesty, integrity, respect & responsibility, all while giving them an avenue for healthier living through outdoor exercise.  As a public course, Heritage allows golfers of all walks of life and ability to try golf and have the chance to experience its benefits for themselves.  A chance that will be lost for many if Heritage Oaks were to close.

Heritage Oaks in particular has been instrumental in supporting our area’s youth in the development of  core values through the game of golf.  First Tee of Harrisonburg  is supported by Heritage Oaks and is housed on its grounds.  First Tee provides programs to area youth such as certification classes, National School Program, DRIVE, and their Juvenile Diversion Program which gives at-risk youth referred by the court system a chance to better themselves and improve their future.  Heritage Oaks also supports young local athletes by serving as the home practice course for Harrisonburg High School as well as several collegiate teams, such as JMU and EMU.  Each year Heritage Oaks hosts local, district, regional and state VHSL tournaments.  Talk to any of these local young athletes and they will tell you how the staff at Heritage and in particular Golf Pro Dave Johns has helped them develop and grow as golfers and people. 

Heritage Oaks also supports the community by hosting many fundraising tournaments for local charities such as the Shenandoah District Disaster Auction, Skyline Literacy, Relay for Life (multiple teams), local school programs, JMU service fraternities and sororities and others.  These charities depend on the funds raised at events like these in order to support the community, and with Heritage Oaks, area courses will be hard pressed to accommodate their needs.

As a result of its growing reputation as a well-maintained course with active programs and tournaments, Heritage Oaks is a draw for golfers from surrounding areas, bringing revenue to local restaurants and businesses as well as prestige to the City of Harrisonburg for supporting such a vital asset.

While we understand the need to be fiscally responsible in these trying times, we also have to keep an eye on the long-range prospects for our community.  Yes, a golf course as a community service is an investment, but so are swimming pools.   However, if you look at our City’s investment in these 2 areas, the golf course has returned $.70 for every $1 invested, while the swimming pool has only returned $0.15 for every $1.  And the golf course has the POTENTIAL to do even better than that if given the chance.  What’s important to remember is that this is not just a financial decision, it’s also an intangible investment in the community, just like playgrounds, parks, tennis courts and swimming pools.  It adds to the value of living and investing in Harrisonburg as a place to live and work.  After all, golf courses have long been a draw for business professionals, and having a quality course like Heritage Oaks is a selling point for businesses looking to locate in the area.

Earlier this year, before the pandemic hit, changes were beginning to take place at Heritage Oaks in an effort to cut expenses and make the golf course more lucrative.  We ask that the Harrisonburg Parks & Recreation department, and by extension the Harrisonburg City Council, allow the course management to follow through with their plans for budgetary improvement, and give local area golfers the chance to support Heritage Oaks and contribute to its future.  Please don’t give up on the good work that Harrisonburg has done for its community through Heritage Oaks.  Please give it a chance to adjust and continue to serve the community for years to come. 

0 have signed. Let’s get to 5,000!
At 5,000 signatures, this petition is more likely to get picked up by local news!