By Tristan Marks
Put away the golf clubs, folks. West Lincoln’s newest course will only need frisbee discs.
Township Council approved a recommendation to partner up with Smithville Christian High School (SCHS) to design and build a new disc golf course at the Wellandport Community Centre park grounds.
Although Council voted to endorse the project at Monday’s Public Works Committee of the Whole, the project will only move forward pending the approval of an application made to the Canadian Healthy Communities Initiative for the full $75,000 project cost.
If funded, SCHS students will work with Township Staff to design and build the nine pole course.
Disc golf resembles its well-known counterpart in most respects, except that players use frisbee discs instead of balls and clubs, and aim for chain nets affixed atop poles instead of holes.
SCHS director of communications Marlene Bergsma said this project provides an accessible way for West Lincoln residents to enjoy the outdoors and benefit from exercise.
“People of all income levels can easily grab a disc and play,” Bergsma said. “It can also be intergenerational, with people of all ages playing together.”
In addition to benefiting the community as a whole, Bergsma said this partnership would help SCHS’s students benefit from ‘project based learning’ by taking part in designing and developing the project.
“This gives students first-hand experience in improving their community,” Bergsma said.
“It shows them that this is what good citizenship looks like.”
Councillors responded positively to the proposal and voted unanimously to support it.
However, some concerns were brought up during discussion.
Coun. William Reilly noted that any final course concept would need to ensure safety around the community centre’s roadway and Welland River boat launch.
Furthermore, Coun. Shelley Bradaric and Coun. Cheryl Ganann requested that some care be put into ensuring that the course be accessible enough to disabled residents and the seniors.
SCHS facilities manager Fred Breukelman said these factors are expected and that it would be “a good challenge for the students” tasked with incorporating them into their design concepts.
Furthermore, director of public works & recreation Mike DiPaola said that staff will work with and direct the SCHS over the course of the design process.
“Students will have a conceptual role, but the township has the final say,” DiPaola said.
“It’s our opportunity to mentor and educate the kids.”