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Spearheading $2.8 million in improvements to McClatchy Park is something that might seem benign, but which residents and city officials say will be a harbinger of change: A disc golf course, where players toss Frisbee-like discs into baskets.
“I’m looking forward to being able to help change the park,” said said Aimee Phelps, a founder of the course and the Oak Park Disc Golfers club. “There’s a lot of stuff that goes on out there like drugs, and the disc golf course will help change that.”
The disc golf course will break ground at 3500 Fifth Ave. Oct. 13, when city crews are scheduled to bring an auger to the park to dig holes for the course’s baskets, said Phelps, who lives about a block away.
It’s geared for beginners and families, and when completed, it will be a nine-hole course with the longest hole being about 300 feet.
“I’m really excited about it,” said City Councilman Jay Schenirer. “I think it’s going to bring a lot more people into the park.”
A $2.8 million grant to rebuild the park from the state of California will bring a new skate park, new basketball and tennis courts and a jogging track around the perimeter, according to Schenirer.
City officials are looking for more funding to rebuild the bathrooms by the baseball field, and shade structures over the farmers market area could see it become a permanent fixture.
A barbecue and temporary course will be set up at 1 p.m. on Saturday to introduce the neighbors and other park users to the activity.
“I think disc golf will bring a lot of young people out, and young families who are in the neighborhood,” Schenirer said. “The more people who are using the park for positive purposes, the more people will feel safe.”
There will be no charge to use the course.
Phelps said the Oak Park Disc Golfers will host tournaments and bring in professionals to teach kids and families how to play.
“We hope to get involved with the schools and really make this an all-inclusive family thing,” she added. “Theres a lot of good things that are involved – it’s independent, yet at the same time it’s a group thing as well.”
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