To the Editor:
The NJDEP is currently reviewing the proposal submitted by Liberty National Golf Course to lease the Caven Point Natural Site at Liberty State Park.
Caven Point is a critical natural habitat and wildlife refuge. It’s been a pristine, natural place since becoming part of LSP in 1979. Every year, many hundreds of local children participate in education programs at Caven Point, provided by LSP.
Paul Fireman, owner of Liberty National, says he needs Caven Point to “serve underprivileged children through First Tee Program.” The First Tee is a great foundation, and Fireman’s support is admirable. Fireman wants to relocate three golf holes from way back on his golf course, to Caven Point, where the views would be spectacular for his members. That would give him space, way back on his golf course, to build a driving range and First Tee headquarters for the “underprivileged children.”
Fireman already has a fabulous driving range at Liberty National. There is no good reason why the First Tee kids should be excluded from the use of it.
Google “Liberty Rising.” That’s the 90-story, $4 billion casino hotel that Fireman wanted to build two years ago, right next to the Liberty National clubhouse, on property he owns. Nothing has been built there since that was rejected. He wanted to build a palace there for the benefit of gamblers. There is no good reason why Fireman can’t build his First Tee headquarters there to benefit “underprivileged children.”
Mr. Firemen’s ability to “serve underprivileged children through First Tee Program” has nothing to do with acquiring Caven Point. To better serve the First Tee, Fireman needs to be more inclusive in allowing the use of his golf course by The First Tee participants, and willing to build their headquarters on his own, available property.
The local youth who might benefit from The First Tee Program, are among the same local kids who already benefit from the education programs at Caven Point.
Caven Point should remain a free, natural habitat and educational resource for all of the public to enjoy, including the First Tee kids. It must not be permanently and irreversibly converted into three holes worth of eye candy for the sole enjoyment of the Liberty National members.