My Turn: A time to honor our heritage, celebrate key to our future | SierraSun.com

My Turn: A time to honor our heritage, celebrate key to our future

Judy Friedman
Special to the Sun

TAHOE CITY, Calif. and#8212; Some moments in time require special recognition and reflection. The transfer of ownership of the Tahoe City Golf Course from the Bechdolt Family to the community is one of those moments. It is an occasion to honor our heritage, celebrate our efforts and look to the future.

The Tahoe City Golf Course opened in 1917 and was designed by one of the first female golf course designers and#8212; May and#8220;Queenieand#8221; Dunn Hupfel. It was a 6-hole course until 1927 when it was expanded to 9 holes.

In 1948 Carl Bechdolt Jr. and his wife Elsie bought the property, and over the past 64 years it has been owned and operated by the Bechdolt Family. The family chose not to get caught up in the development rush of the 60s and 70s that saw the explosion of condominium projects at North Tahoe. Instead, they stewarded the land and provided a recreational amenity for all ages and both visitors and residents.

Beyond purely recreational functions, this family heritage has resulted in a legacy of immeasurable value, including charitable tournaments and events, the dedication of lands to Tahoe Lake School and ballfields, countless community gatherings for fundraisers, celebrations, and life-cycle events. Thousands of dollars have been provided to Little League, youth recreation, scholarships, senior services, and so much more. The public acquisition of this property ensures that our community can continue to benefit from the traditions created by the Bechdolt family.

The Tahoe City Public Utility District Board and staff have been overwhelmed by the numbers of people who have written, emailed, phoned, stopped us on the street and attended meetings to discuss this opportunity. Following public debate, where points raised by the community were considered by the TCPUD Board and other funders, the community came together. Everyone has expressed sincere interest about what the future holds for the property. Of utmost importance is public ownership means the entire community can participate in the planning process.

Ultimately, the community is the landowner. In the next several months, a public and#8220;visioningand#8221; process with the funding partners and community members will be developed. Please, participate in this process. It is an opportunity for your voice to be heard.

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Right now is the time for celebration. Join us on Tuesday, April 3, from 4-6 p.m. to honor the Bechdolt Family who chose to transfer this property to the community. Their foresight gives us the opportunity to continue a great legacy and make new history … truly, the key to the future.

Judy Friedman is president of the Tahoe City Public Utility District Board of Directors.