McHENRY – Saying they want to preserve the wildlife and wetlands at Cold Springs Park, residents of the Park Ridge Estates subdivision packed the City Council meeting Monday night to oppose a disc golf course being planned for the park.
Residents spoke during the public input portion of the meeting, but Mayor Susan Low said the council would not make comments about the presentation. Instead, it would discuss the issue at a future meeting.
The McHenry Kiwanis Club is working with the city to build the $87,900 course at the park, which is in the Park Ridge Estates neighborhood near McHenry West High School, which is where a beginners disc golf course is located. The new course would be for more seasoned players.
“It was told to us it would be a passive park,” Park Ridge Estates resident Brenda Mehlieg said of the plans at Cold Springs. “Disc golf is not a passive sport.”
Concerns are for disturbing the wildlife and wetlands, John Mehlieg said.
“When you play disc golf, it goes off course,” he said. “It’s going to ruin the wildlife and nature preserve.”
The majority of the project would be paid for through the city’s developer donations, with the remainder paid for by the Kiwanis Club and through fundraisers and other donations.
The largest chunk of the expense – $50,000 – would pay for a parking lot off Lillian Street, according to city documents.
“We are disc golf players,” resident Maddie Pepe said. “We enjoy the game.”
But the area being eyed for development of the course is “very muddy, boggy and very wet,” she said.
The game also is played mostly by young males, she said, adding that it could bother other people in the park.
“It’s very intimidating,” Pepe said.
Curt Pepe presented a detailed argument to the council, handing out copies of the speech titled “Documentary Presentation by Park Ridge Residents for the Preservation of Cold Springs Park.”
Curt Pepe said residents were completely unaware of the plans until reading about the proposed course in a recent newspaper article.
“A better option for a disc course would be Miller Riverfront Park,” he told the council. “There is no need to travel through any subdivision to access the park.”
Curt Pepe also talked about damage to surrounding trees caused when hit with the discs.
“Trees and shrubs are struck by hard plastic discs thrown by golfers” he said, passing one of the discs around for council members to feel it. “Golfers continuously cut paths through the thicket and bushes when retrieving discs that fly away from the goal or off the fairway.”