The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Local News

December 13, 2012

New disc golf course eyed for Carthage park

CARTHAGE, Mo. — Kellogg Lake Park in Carthage by spring may be the site of the region’s newest disc golf course.

A budget allocation for construction of a course was advanced Tuesday by the Carthage City Council, with final action set for Dec. 27. The project now will go back to the council’s public services committee, which will oversee planning and design for the course, according to Alan Bull, city parks director.

The committee earlier discussed proposals for a disc golf course, and Bull said he has been surprised by the interest shown in the project.

“I’ve had all sorts of phone calls and emails from people who want us to install a course and have offered to help,” he said. “What I’ve found is that disc golfers are like other golfers; they like to have different courses to play.”

The region has several disc golf courses, including sites in Joplin, Neosho, Pittsburg, Kan., and Miami, Okla.

Bull said the courses are relatively inexpensive to install, are unobtrusive and require little upkeep. He said Kellogg Lake Park has sufficient space for a nine-hole course, which would be located between the lake and Spring River. He said the plan has been endorsed by the Kellogg Lake Committee, a volunteer board that works to support and promote the park.

“The primary maintenance is mowing, and we do that now,” he said.

The budget amendment endorsed by the council allocates up to $6,000 for the project. Bull said the city will have to seek bids on the equipment, which can be installed by city workers.

“You could put in all the baskets in one day,” he said. “My goal is to get it in by spring.”

Bull said city officials also are looking into development of a bike trail on city-owned property in the Walnut Bottoms area west of Kellogg Lake Park. He said some trails already exist in the area.

“What we’re looking at is a single-track trail for mountain bikes,” he said. “We think we could get in three to five miles if we wound it around. We’ve met with some biking groups, and it’s sort of like disc golf; there was more interest than we realized.”

Tom Short, city administrator, said the property includes land the Department of Conservation gave to the city in the 1980s. It was maintained as a park for a time but now is overgrown.

Short said the city is seeking grant funds that would fund trail development. He said that if the grant is unsuccessful, members of area biking clubs have offered to help. Both Short and Bull said workers first would have to clean up the area, which has been used by some to dump trash including old furniture and tires.

Bull said the council also approved plans to fund the replacement of the fountain at Kellogg Lake that stopped operating more than a year ago after the pump motor failed.

“We’ve overhauled it twice, and the last time we pulled it out and took it to the company that had worked on it before, they said it can’t be repaired,” he said.

The fountain has been a fixture in the lake since at least the late 1980s, he said.

Parks vision

MAYOR MIKE HARRIS and City Administrator Tom Short are meeting with representatives of the Drury University School of Architecture on a “visioning program” for the Carthage parks system. The students worked with city officials and volunteers earlier on similar steps for a plan for downtown Carthage.

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