A group of Edmonton residents is asking the city to consider not renewing a lease with a private golf club set on the North Saskatchewan River.

Friends of our Park formed in response to the Royal Mayfair Golf Club attempting to renew their lease of city-owned land until 2069.  

In a statement, the action group said it wanted to draw attention to the “opportunity to share our vision for our city-owned land.”

The private club occupies approximately 144 acres of land next to Hawrelak Park.

“The vast area of river valley land attached to the north of Hawrelak Park has been monopolized by a private golf course that 99.9% of us could never afford nor be allowed to use,” wrote Friends of our Park spokesperson, Michael Janz.

“We want public consultation and transparency before any long-term decisions are made by our City Council.”

In a Facebook post, Ward 4 Councillor Aaron Paquette said he has recently received an influx of questions regarding the club’s lease.

Writing that the public should be engaged in decisions regarding the city’s river valley, Paquette added, “We should be cautious about agreements that commodify river valley land, especially if those agreements make access financially restrictive to the majority of Edmontonians.”

The Royal Mayfair Golf Club told CTV News its volunteer board of governors would work with both the city and the public on matters related to its lease agreement, and examine how public access to the leased land could be increased.

"For decades, our organization has cared deeply about the health and well-being of the river valley and has been an excellent steward of this land since the 1920s," read the statement, signed by Wade Hudyma and Craig Trendel, the club's general manager and president. It added the golf course has "enhanced Edmonton's brand and reputation" by hosting international events.

Friends of our Park scheduled a public meeting for Jan. 7 with plans to hold another later in the month.