Nelson City Council has approved the transition of the disc golf course at Art Gibbon Park from a one-year pilot, begun in the spring of 2020, to a permanent feature of the park.
City staff have been monitoring the pilot throughout the year and told council at its June 15 meeting that none of the potential problems identified beforehand by neighbouring Rosemont residents have come to pass.
There has been no traffic or parking congestion at the park, no congestion on the walking trails, no safety issues on the disc golf course, no noise or litter complaints, and no loss of greenspace.
Chris Charlwood of the Nelson Disc Golf Society said the group is happy with the decision.
“Already a hit with both new and competitive players as well as families,” he wrote in an email, “this course offers great exercise and a cool place to play in the shade on hot summer days.”
Disc golf resembles golf because its object is to complete each hole in the fewest number of strokes, or, in the case of disc golf, the fewest number of throws. Instead of a hole there is an elevated metal basket, and instead of golf balls, plastic discs. Players must navigate obstacles such as trees, shrubs and terrain changes.
The proposal for the disc golf course was put forward last year by the Nelson Disc Golf Society on the grounds that it is a low-cost, family friendly sport that is growing in popularity. The course was installed in the existing walking trails in the park.
“I was pleasantly surprised to see a lot of the citizen concerns never materialized,” said Councillor Jesse Woodward at the June 15 meeting.
“I was up there recently with my son,” he added, “and saw this park that is multi-functional in many ways like Lakeside or Lyons. It was impressive to look at the whole aspect of Art Gibbon Park now, for people with kids, people who want to walk the dog .”
Councillor Keith Page agreed.
“No matter how many kids you have, there is probably something for anyone of any age … I’m glad we pushed this through and were not too risk-averse in doing the pilot.”