Posts Tagged ‘park’


disc golf albanyThe Boy Scouts of Troop 68 were asked to help by providing an activity for last August’s Night To Unite in Melrose. I volunteered my disc golf practice basket and the Scouts brought their discs. People had fun trying their putting skills, or discovering that they did not have any putting skills. Employees from the city of Melrose, and even a couple city council members, stopped by to throw a few discs and talk about the game.

Melrose does not have a disc golf course, but the city now has an interest in one after watching the Boy Scouts and the public playing the game during that evening in the park. The city administrator asked the Boy Scouts and myself to attend the next park board meeting with a proposal to have a course installed in the park. Over the next couple days, a few Scouts and I worked out a plan for a nine hole course and, using my practice basket, actually played a game in the park. I worked up a cost estimate and other information and presented a plan to the park board at the end of August. The board members really liked the idea and the projected cost of the course. They stated that this idea would be a great project to bring more people to use the park, including tweens and teenagers.

Earlier this month I received a phone from the city administrator asking me to attend the city council meeting on Thursday, October 16. The disc golf course proposal had passed the park board and had moved on to the city council for action. I needed to be there in case the council had any questions that needed to be addressed. I marked it on my calendar.

The city council did have a few questions, but none of them were hard to answer. They all seemed to like the idea. When it came time to vote they all voted in favor of creating a disc golf course next spring. The budget they gave to it was lower than I originally proposed so we will not get the concrete tee boxes right away, but they would be a possibility in a few years.

I was told I would be contacted over the winter to meet with the board to make the final preparations for the new course. I guess my work did not end with the proposal. It appears that I am the resident expert on disc golf courses. I had to chuckle to myself. I am probably one of the few adults in town who has played a lot of disc golf, and played on several courses in the area. I am not an expert but I guess I can help plan a local course.

Boy Scout Troop 68 will have a hand in this park. I plan on getting a couple of them to help at the planning meetings this winter. I also plan to have them help build and install the course this spring. There should be plenty of service hours to go around. Unfortunately, the planning has already gone too far to allow one Scout to use this as an Eagle Project, but you know, those concrete tee boxes will need to be added in another year or two.

Does your troop enjoy playing disc golf? Where do they play?

Jaycee Park, MelroseEven before I took over as the scoutmaster of Boy Scout Troop 68 in Melrose, troop meetings were sometimes held at the Jaycee Park. After I took the scoutmaster position, we began to use the park for our summer meetings, from May through September. It was nice being outside for meetings. We could practice outdoor skills and play different games. Granted, rain messed things up once in awhile but there was a shelter we could usually run to to stay dry. The hockey rink was used as a ball field for many kickball and softball games. The large pine trees provided plenty of shade. The Scouts would play Tip and impromptu games of disc golf through the pine trees. The Cub Scout Pack has held meetings there. The district has used it for Cub Scout Day Camps. The Lake Wobegon Trail is only half a block away. It worked well for the troop. We still use the park for our current summer meetings.

Over the last 15 or so years the City of Melrose has been selling off chunks of this park. The western two thirds has been sold for townhouse developments. I understand the city needed this type of housing, and that the townhouse development was well done, but it was sad to see so much of the park disappear. The existing park is still large enough for a shelter, a playground, a volleyball court, and two hockey rinks. It is still a nice park and is used quite a bit by the local residents. One of our Eagle Scouts even did his project in the park, but nothing of that project remains after the townhouse developments.

Last month, the City of Melrose sold the park to CentraCare, our local hospital and clinic campus which is right next door to the park. I think it is great that CentraCare is willing and able to expand its facitilities. It shows a commitment to the city. Unfortunately, it means that someday we will lose that park. The first planned expansion will require that the park shelter be removed. The playground and the hockey rinks will remain for awhile yet, maybe even several years. The city will be renting the remaining park land for one dollar a year as long as CentraCare does not require it.

Unfortunately, it seems that the City of Melrose does not seem to have a plan to replace this park, even though they have been selling off portions of it for over 15 years. Granted, we will still have a smaller park in place for years yet, but I am surprised, or should I say shocked, that the city may just let one park disappear from the town in the future.