Rosedale Golf Club cuts 55 trees

Thirty-six were re­moved to man­age shad­ing on golf greens

Bayview Post - - News -

Res­i­dents near the Rosedale Golf Club (RGC) have been ques­tion­ing why the pri­vate course de­cided to re­move a sig­nif­i­cant num­ber of trees from its prop­erty and are also ques­tion­ing the club’s use of pes­ti­cides.

In Oct. 20, 2017, a per­mit was granted to RGC by City of Toronto Ur­ban Forestry Man­age­ment for the re­moval of 55 trees –– 36 of them were re­moved to man­age shad­ing of the golf course greens, only six were in poor con­di­tion. Ac­cord­ing to a rep­re­sen­ta­tive from Ur­ban Forestry, RGC paid a se­cu­rity fee of $96,150 for a fu­ture ravine stew­ard­ship plan.

How­ever, this de­ci­sion doesn’t sit well with Shirelle Lay­ton, a res­i­dent and board mem­ber of Bed­fordWan­less Ratepay­ers As­so­ci­a­tion, who of­ten runs around the area that borders RGC.

“That’s crazy,” she said. “I’m quite sur­prised that de­ci­sion had even been ap­proved.”

Pri­vate golf clubs like RGC are sub­ject to the same laws and re­stric­tions as city-owned cour­ses, with some by­law ex­emp­tions. City ex­perts con­firmed that both the tree cut­ting and pes­ti­cide use were reg­u­lated and ap­proved.

Ward 25 coun­cil­lor Jaye Robin­son has fielded con­cerns from her con­stituents.

“I may not nec­es­sar­ily agree with [the tree cut­ting] be­cause I think we should be sav­ing ev­ery pos­si­ble tree in the city, es­pe­cially very ma­ture trees, but staff have sim­ply said they [RGC] are ex­empted from the by­law,” she said.

Peter Old­field, gen­eral man­ager of RGC, and Jeff Stauf­fer, the course su­per­vi­sor, met with Robin­son in late Jan­uary where the res­i­dents’ con­cerns were dis­cussed. Ac­cord­ing to Stauf­fer, the pes­ti­cide prod­ucts were ap­proved by fed­eral and pro­vin­cial gov­ern­ments and Stauf­fer af­firmed that the prod­ucts are not harm­ful to pets, wildlife or peo­ple walk­ing through the grounds.

In fact, de­spite be­ing a pri­vate golf club with ini­ti­a­tion fees of $90,000, Old­field said the prop­erty is open to “any­body who would like to walk their dog or go snow­shoe­ing or cross-coun­try skiing,” and RGC tries to main­tain the prop­erty to al­low that.

Ac­cord­ing to Old­field, this also means be­ing good care­tak­ers of the land, which in­cludes the city’s vast nat­u­ral her­itage sys­tem of ravines, val­leys, rivers and wildlife that wind through the golf course.

“We see our prop­erty as a very spe­cial place and en­vi­ron­ment,” said Old­field.

RGC will be fil­ing a ravine stew­ard­ship plan this year and ex­pects to plant roughly 150 new trees in the spring.

The club ex­pects to plant 150 new trees in the spring

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