Thursday, January 12, 2012

Save Edora's Disc Golf?

I've played disc golf maybe 3 times in my life, but never at the popular course at Edora in Fort Collins.
I have, however, run or biked or rollerbladed hundreds of times (a minimum estimate of 3x/week for 5 years, 2 of which included a regular bike commute to CSU) past the course.

This means, potentially, that I'd have to watch out for errant discs and confused stoners wandering across the path in a cloud of smoke, yet another set of obstacles to avoid.
...
Right?
...
Except that hasn't happened. Instead, I've seen thousands of people (and their dogs) of all ages enjoying a game, and never gotten close to being hit by a disc. I've gotten respect and head-nods from them, without being judged while I pass through shirtless or in funny lycra or in outdated rollerblades (or -- on hot days when I'm feeling sassy -- a combination of all 3!)

But disc golf is too popular, it seems: hundreds of people play in the summer, leading to a wait at the tees. And the city mentioned a desire for more "passive use" in Edora, for being able to sit under a tree and read a book. (We here at the Rambler love reading books under trees -- except for the damn ants in Summer! -- but think that the northwest corner of the park, near the creek and bridge, is already a fine place to do so, although City Park instead can't be beat). So the planned solution is to shut down half the course.

Huh?

To be fair, there is a new course being built on the west side of town, near Future Former Hughes Stadium (FFHS). The new course has a goal to be even better than the Edora one: the problem is, FFHS is currently flat and treeless...and is across town. (An equally ridiculous solution to the "passive use" argument would be to suggest that someone read a book under the saplings at FFHS instead). Within a decade, the new course will undoubtedly be quite nice; meanwhile, the town population and the popularity of disc golf is unlikely to decrease.

There is an online petition to save the course.

Although there will be a net gain of 9 disc golf holes by building a new course on undeveloped land, we here at the Rambler think that removing the Edora course is short-sighted. We're not a fan of tearing down existing, working, popular infrastructure. We like the idea of having a course on both sides of town: one closer to CSU and some of the west-side schools, and the current, very popular Edora course closer to the numerous east side schools and businesses. We think supporting disc golf supports the economy in a sustainable way, supporting the work and vision set more than 30 years ago by legendary local disc golfer Bill Wright. We enjoy the mixing of populations that occurs in shared-use parks and have an idealistic belief that it secretly engenders respect and understanding. And we like doing whatever we can to get people outside.

And we, here at the Rambler, aren't even disc golfers!

2 comments:

  1. Thanks for bringing this up. I am at EPIC pretty much every day since I swim and have 2 swimmmer kids. These people have never bothered me or anybody I know. The game looks pretty fun, though I have never tried it. The disc golf course gets people outside and there are plenty of other places to sit and read a book. Agree 100% that tearing down something this popular is a horrible idea. I'm signing!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks Mike, glad other people have the same experience. I keep wondering if there have been problems/encounters, but I just haven't heard about it.

    ReplyDelete