Westchester Lagoon Disc Golf Park Closure
Contact: Lindsey Whitt
The Parks and Recreation Department will be closing the disc golf course at Margaret Eagan Sullivan Park, commonly called Westchester Lagoon, for the summer of 2012 to repair areas that are damaged from heavy course use. The course will be rehabilitated with topsoil and grass seed and damaged trees and shrubs will be replaced with new plantings.
All repaired areas will be enclosed with temporary fencing to eliminate disturbance of the newly seeded areas. Protective enclosures will be installed over the basket mounts to facilitate future seasonal and permitted use of the course.
Westchester Lagoon, is one of Anchorage’s most popular and loved year-round destinations for outdoor recreation. The park provides many activities for park users and families including ice skating, skiing, a fitness park, playground, boating and wildlife viewing and disc golf. Additionally, Margaret Eagan Sullivan Park is a major community thoroughfare; the Coastal Trail and the Chester Creek Greenbelt pass through its borders and the Lagoon is the terminus of Chester Creek.
Community parks, like Westchester Lagoon thrive from multiple complementary uses. Unfortunately, many popular activities at the Lagoon are conflicting, competing for space and resources, and often imposing a negative park and trail experience for many citizens.
Since 2008, the Alaska Disc Golf Association (ADGA) and Anchorage Parks and Recreation have been actively working to improve the safety conditions and user conflicts at the Westchester Lagoon disc golf course.
Since then, the following improvements have been implemented:
- The course layout was realigned to prevent disc golfers from jaywalking across Minnesota Drive;
- Signage was installed to alert disc golfers and trail users that this area of the Chester Creek Greenbelt is a congested, multi-use area; and
- Some areas of the course near wetlands and drainages were revegetated.
Although these improvements have somewhat improved course conditions and park and trail safety, the increased popularity of the course has compounded the problems. The Parks and Recreation Department continues to receive many complaints about the poor condition of the park near the disc golf course, trail conflicts and the deteriorating community park atmosphere.
In response to the growing conflict, the Department composed a Community Advisory Group (CAG) to propose solutions to resolve conflict and improve park conditions. This advisory group included two parks and recreation commission members, two ADGA Members and was led by Parks & Recreation Staff. Including the 2012 course closure, the CAG reached the following compromise:
- Beginning in the fall of 2012, the course will become a winter only course except for permitted events and tournaments;
- The course will be made available for permitted events and tournaments beginning the summer of 2013; and
- To augment the loss of this summer activity at Westchester Lagoon, ADGA and Parks and Recreation will work together to find appropriate places for disc golf courses within Anchorage Parks through community support, planning and funding.
In the interim, the following locations continue to be available for disc golf play:
Kincaid Park (18 holes)
Hanshew Middle School (9)
Service High School (9)
Russian Jack Springs Park (9)
Girdwood Disc Golf Course (18)
Schroeder Park (9)
Gruening Middle School (9)
Peter's Creek Disc Golf Course (18)
Eagle River High School (9)
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