The disc golf course is returning to Rodney Ridge. While the baskets were removed following complaints from some residents in the area, council addressed the concerns of area residents and voted to reinstate the course.
The letters written to council expressed concerns about drinking, “hooting and hollering” from disc golf players, parking and late night play. They also circulated a petition, which was not considered a valid petition according to provincial legislation. In presenting to Council, Darcy McLeod, director of Community Development, Parks and Recreation said that while they recognized the concerns, they felt the disc golf course would not provide the same disruptions that the letter writers had outlined.
The main evidence used in support of the new nine holes was the nearby Patrick Park, which has not had a complaint in the ten years it has been in place in the city. Mayor Bob Maloney said that the first disc golf course effectively changed the Patrick Park from an “abandoned” park to a well-used city facility. Council members also noted that disc golfers tended to police the course as well, with golfers picking up trash on site, leading to a cleaner park.
Parking concerns were also dismissed, as there is parking near the course by the water tower which would be used by players. They may also park at Patrick Park if they are doing a full 18 holes, and these would be the easiest parking options for players.
There were concerns about late night noise on the course. These were dismissed as well, as the course is not lit, explained McLeod. Because disc golf is a game that requires people to see, actual use of the course would be limited to daylight hours without lighting in the park. If there was loud noise late at night, he recommended calling the RCMP.
There were concerns about alcohol use in the park as well. However, no city parks allow alcohol on the premises without a Special Occasion Permit. While the resident pointed out a golfer carrying what appeared to be a “cooler” Councillor Quinn Haider noted that when using the existing course and in speaking to disc golfers, he has noticed that some golfers use a carrying case that looks like a cooler to carry their discs.
The main reason for implementing the disc golf course, explained McLeod, was that it was part of their overall mandate to encourage physical activity and usage of existing parks. The southern side of the city in particular was identified as lacking in recreation opportunities, which also saw the installation of a play structure on Tupper Ave.
The locations of some baskets were moved in response to complaints to ensure that discs were not thrown towards properties and to avoid running and cross-training explained McLeod.
Council unanimously supported returning the course to Rodney Ridge.
Trevor Lyons with the Parkland Disc Golf Association is pleased to see that the course is returning to Rodney Ridge. He said that this will be a benefit to the city since it will get more people in the park and getting active.
“Now we can get more people out to use it, and you can talk to people and get them out to do more exercise, that’s a really good thing.”