Pardon my rant...
WHY is it so freakin' hard to get disc golfers to show up to these meetings? We had four of us there again (Antonia, we saw you on the sign up sheet but didn't know who you were!), which is something... and the only reason they're considering disc golf in this park AT ALL is because a few of us HAVE been attending these meetings. E-mailed comments are nice, but when people take the time to actually show up, it demonstrates a certain level of commitment. Apparently we have demonstrated the level of commitment that warrants them proposing to give us about 5 acres out of this 100-acre park. What might we have if more of us bothered to attend?
Several of the habitat-preservation volunteers -- who will be the ones most strenuously opposing a disc golf course -- always show up to these meetings. And they get singled out by the M.C. and get a round of applause. Meanwhile, out of all the disc golfers in Portland, the best we can do is FOUR? There was a work party at McIver last weekend, and 18 people showed up; is it that a public workshop isn't as much "fun"? (Don't tell me it's because they're usually at 6:00 on a weekday; Tuesday Twos claims to have 46 active players.) There were only about 30 public participants, total, at last night's meeting; if 18 disc golfers had come, we'd have been by far the largest consituency there, and they couldn't ignore that.
If this course ever gets in the ground, a lot more than four people are going to come and play there. Public workshops aren't "sexy," they're not much fun, but they're absolutely necessary. Why is there even a local disc golf club if they're not actively organizing people to help make new courses a reality? Do they only wait until the Parks Department says for sure, "yes, we want a course," so they can show up for the work-party-slash-barbecue?
(Rant off, for now...)
There are no more public meetings scheduled at this point. The next step is going to be to provide even more feedback to the planners. We need to ask for MORE land... not only because it would make for a better course, but because there are many people out there who don't want to see us in the park at all, and we need to counterbalance that. Once new PDFs have been posted on the "Harmony Vision" Web site, I'll start a new thread.
By the way, Justin, I wouldn't necessarily say "the general attitude towards DG was positive." We've gotten a good response from the planners and landscape architects -- who recognize that one of the goals is to get more people moving through the park during all seasons -- but they told me that the public reaction to disc golf has been very mixed. (Granted, a lot of the public has no idea what DG even is; they might hear "golf" and think we want to do clear-cutting of 400-yard fairways.)