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Whitnall disc golf plan stays on course

Nov. 27, 2012

Greenfield - The Whitnall School Board has confirmed it is open to the concept of a disc golf course in what is known as the nature pod near Whitnall high and middle schools.

With its unanimous vote Monday, the board gave the official go-ahead for Whitnall senior Clayton Anderson to begin filling out the details of his plan.

Anderson, 17, has started developing plans for a disc golf - similar to golf, except that players throw flying discs like Frisbees toward a metal basket on a pole - on the 5.4-acre nature pod, a district-owned wetland parcel science classes use for their studies.

On par with interest

Clayton managed to dispel doubts about whether there was enough interest by presenting a petition signed by more than 100 Whitnall students supporting a course.

Whitnall School Board member Quin Brunette, who had voiced that concern, said the petition was pretty convincing. He added that Clayton's efforts have attracted a lot of interest from adults as well.

One of them is a woman who helped another school district create a disc golf course. She may be able to knock the estimated price tag down while still doing the project right, Brunette said.

Cost and other concerns

Currently, the cost is estimated at less than $15,000, and that's the biggest outstanding the issue the board will still have to address.

"It's what we need to know before we vote," Brunette said.

In addition to a financing plan, the board called for more information on how the neighbors feel about the idea and what the city's perspective is.

But the location isn't a problem for the schools themselves. The disc golf and science classes could co-exist easily, some science teachers said at last week's Finance and Facilities Committee meeting.

Some even said the native plants that they try to show their students there could be more visible if the buckthorn and other invasive species are removed for the disc golf course.

Another concern was whether there were deed restrictions on the land. But Clayton's research found none.

The hoped-for result

Board member T.J. Anderson, Clayton's father, said his son was pleased with the vote.

"He's very happy," said Anderson, who added that his son had wanted to gauge the board's interest before he invested a lot of time and work in the project.

But there is a lot of work to do before the discs start flying, Anderson emphasized, noting that he personally will abstain from voting when the issue returns to the board.

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