By Stefanie Donahue
Lincoln Park is now home to a new, 18-hole disc golf course.
To celebrate, the Whatcom Disc Golf Club hosted a 100-person tournament called ‘Battle at the Border’ giving players with varying skill levels the opportunity to win cash payouts and prizes on June 9.
Akin to golf, disc golf players count strokes each time a disc is thrown from a tee pad. Players take turns until they finish the hole or basket. The player with the least throws wins the game.
“I’ve lived in Blaine my whole life,” said Whatcom Disc Golf Club board member, Randy Newton. “I always thought that Lincoln Park would be a cool place for a disc golf course.”
Newton said he has contributed an estimated 200 hours to the project so far. Joined by other volunteers from Whatcom Disc Golf Club, he has helped remove large amounts of invasive ivy from the park. Aside from readying park grounds, members of the club also helped develop the course map.
“We saw it as an opportunity to make it a challenging course,” Newton said.
The city’s park and cemetery board approved the Lincoln Park Plan in 2011. The plan included a series of ideas to improve the 27-acre park, such as restoring the trail, installing trash receptacles, designing an entrance, selecting picnic and play equipment areas and building a disc golf course.
A town meeting was held prior to the plan being approved and 24 residents attended. When discussing what projects for the park should receive priority, residents chose improving public access and entrances, increasing police patrols and installing garbage cans.
Years after that discussion took place, the park and cemetery board budgeted $25,000 for 2018 to install a disc golf course and lighting on an asphalt trail at the park. In 2019, the board projects to make improvements to the H Street entrance; in 2020, they plan to install picnic shelters and a playground.
Moving forward, staff with the city will update the Lincoln Park Plan to incorporate the new disc golf course as well as existing walking trails and planned improvements. The process, according to a memo released to the city council in March, will be open to the public and include a survey.
“I’m just really excited that we’re able to get this done by summer. It will give teens and seniors an opportunity to recreate in a really cool park,” said community planner Alex Wenger.
Lincoln Park will remain one of two off-leash dog parks in Blaine. The new course is designed to not impact primary and perimeter walking trails as well as the north and south trail, Wenger said.
A vegetation monitoring plan will also go into effect each quarter. It calls on staff with the city to take photos at each hole to monitor changes over time; survey each hole to identify the impact to vegetation over time; and identify each tree that has the potential to be damaged by flying discs.
“These three monitoring techniques will allow us to understand the environmental impacts of a disc golf course in Lincoln Park,” reads the monitoring plan. “Based off the information gathered the city can make well-informed and educated decisions regarding the needs of Lincoln Park and the existence of a disc golf course within the park.”
Photos by Chris Gavey