Spring has finally arrived and with it the Central Lakes College disc golf course, thanks to CLC student Mark Englund.
Englund is one of many college students who sometimes have several hours to kill between classes. He decided that instead of looking for places where he could keep active during the day he would take action and offer students something that he has always wanted — a disc golf course on the CLC campus in Brainerd.
“While playing at the Lum Park disk golf course I frequently saw CLC students trying to play between their classes and get back and complaining that we needed another course in Brainerd,” Englund said, “and I thought why not put it in our back yard where we spend most of our time and not have to drive across town?”
Englund got to work, talking to different members of the CLC staff, asking a lot of questions and doing his research to try and make his project a reality.
“I first came up with the idea during the fall semester of 2011,” he said. “It started as just a random thought because we were playing catch out here and I decided to go for it.”
One of the CLC staff members approached by Englund was Student Life Director Eric Heppner who knew just what to do with a student and a dream.
“Three years ago we decided to set aside activity funds for creating new initiatives by students,” Heppner said. “It give students opportunities to create their own activities on campus. There are a lot of really great ideas and groups but no resources available.”
A panel of students, faculty and staff went over Englund’s proposal, trying to determine if it was innovative and would benefit the student body. They came away with a resounding ‘yes’ and gave Englund the good news that they were behind him 100 percent and ready to break ground on the disc golf course.
“We thought it was a good idea to approve the course,” said Heppner. “I’ve always wanted to have one on campus and knowing the students want it makes it easier. It’s good to have a champion like Mark to make something like this happen. When students push for a good thing I try to make it a reality.”
The CLC staff pitched in in a big way, from maintenance, to spending hours walking the grounds with Englund developing the course layout, to the CLC Welding Club, which made all of the course markers, and the horticulture department, which was instrumental in providing lasting foundations for the baskets and placards.
“Throughout the entire process of getting funds, designing the course, and implementing my ideas I didn’t have any negative feedback,” Englund said. “Everyone on the staff was really supportive, liked the idea, and wanted me to do my best on it because it promotes health and wellness for the student body and it promotes the college.”
The course, which will have its grand opening during CLC’s Beat the Heat Week in early May, is well on its way to becoming a student favorite. Englund couldn’t be prouder of what he dreamed of, worked for, and achieved.
“I’m very happy with it,” he said. Since we put the baskets up (March 29) we’ve seen a lot of people playing and it’s getting a lot of good attention.
“I think it will show the community that the college has the future generations in mind and will draw more interest from prospective students because there are fun things to do on campus.”
The CLC disc golf course is open whenever the college is in session. Discs can be signed out from the Student Life Office with a valid student I.D.
The course will be open to the public with a strong emphasis on respecting the integrity of CLC and other players on the course.