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'Not the right time' for disc golf at Camp Security in Springettsbury

Jana Benscoter
York Dispatch
Jeff Grosh of Yorkanna putts on hole number one during a York County Disc Golf round at Sam Lewis State Park, Monday, July 16, 2018. The group hopes to bring an 18-hole course to Springettsbury Township. John A. Pavoncello photo
  • Disc golf participants were very "enthusiastic about protecting the historical integrity” and “finding a way to celebrate it,” township manager Ben Marchant said.
  • “In all do respect, I appreciate the disc golf sport," President of Friends of Camp Security Carol Tanzola said, adding, "this is not the right time and the right place.”

Installing a disc golf course at Camp Security in Springettsbury Township is still a possibility — but not any time soon.

Township manager Ben Marchant told supervisors during an Aug. 24 meeting that the York County Disc Golf Club has agreed it does not want to disrupt upcoming archaeological research at the former Revolutionary War-era prisoner camp.

However, he said, the organization would like to revisit the issue in the future.

Marchant relayed that representatives from both the Friends of Camp Security preservation group and the disc golf club met recently to brainstorm ways to collaborate.

Disc golf participants, who grew up “less than 2 miles” from the site, he said, “were very enthusiastic about protecting the historical integrity” of the land and “finding a way to celebrate it.”

Friends of Camp Security President Carol Tanzola updated supervisors on geophysical research conducted at Shippensburg University, which confirmed artifacts remain to be uncovered.

And, Tanzola emphasized, she’s been told the Springettsbury site rivals the history of Valley Forge.

But a "blended use" is not out of the question, Marchant said during his manager’s report. He said disc golfers were “unhesitating” when asked if they would place a disc golf course at Valley Forge: They said, “absolutely, yes, if they let us.”

Chairman Mark Swormley and Supervisor Kathleen Phan said they agree with the disc golfers.

The drive to install the course was prompted by York County hosting the 2019 Professional Disc Golf Association Amateur Disc Golf World Championships.

York County Disc Golf Club director Jeff Grosh in July told supervisors two more courses were possibly going to be added before the competition.

More:York County Disc Golf Club wants to install course at Camp Security in Springetts

York County Disc Golf Club wants an 18-hole course installed at Camp Security. (Submitted)

He said the township would garner revenue from the hundreds of people who would stay in local hotels and spend money in local eateries.

Tanzola said at the Aug. 24 meeting she’s not opposed to allowing people on or near the property, but she doesn’t want it to be disturbed while researchers are still uncovering its story.

“There are people who died there … there were a large number of people who perished from a fever,” she said, adding, “in all due respect, I appreciate the disc golf sport. This is not the right time and the right place.”

Aerial photographs of Camp Security Park in Springettsbury Township. Sunday, July 29, 2018. John A. Pavoncello photo

Supervisor Blanda Nace, who supports the preservation efforts, said he’s more concerned about opening the land to visitors, but he noted that it's not going to happen unless Tanzola's group develops a long-term plan.

Until it does, he told her, she would continue to "spin" her "wheels forever."

Tanzola agreed to come up with a long-term plan that could include descriptions of walking trails and parking locations.