The story so far: In Chico, CA, there's been a disc golf object course since the 1980s, originally on BLM land. At some point, the land was purchased by the city and added to Bidwell Park. Some of the locals, calling themselves "Friends of Bidwell Park" and claiming to be on the side of The Environment, wanted the course gone. So the city studied the issue, and studied it some more, and in fact wound up spending $600,000 to study it. They formed a task force that concluded that the disc golf was
causing some erosion problems, and that the best alternative was to redesign or move a few holes and put some work into the course to make it more "official" and more environmentally friendly.
But the city council, beholden to its wealthy "Friends," decided that the best thing to do was to rip out the course entirely and spend more hundreds of thousands of dollars on "restoring" this slice of Bidwell Park that wasn't even part of the park when the Bidwells or their estate donated the land.
About disc golf in Chico: it's quite popular, and especially popular among families and kids due to the existence of the Sherwood Forest Kid's Disc Golf Course
. In fact, Sherwood Forest is the only
course in Chico... which means that adult disc golfers, or kids who've outgrown the pitch 'n' putt, must now drive 25 miles to Oroville to play. (How's that for environmentally friendly?)
Anyway, the local DGers are putting together a referendum drive to force the city council to reconsider or reverse their decision. Obviously, very few people reading this forum are registered Chico voters, but I thought people might like to know what's going on. (If you want to do something
to help, they're selling t-shirts
.) From what I've seen on Google News, it's been pretty big news down there.
Editorials from the local paper: "Citizens tossed from city park"
; "Families feel like outcasts"
Article about the petition drive: "Supporters of disc golf moving forward with referendum"
Google News search for everything relating to the controversy: http://tinyurl.com/bidwell-news