One of the results of California’s ongoing budget crisis was the threat last year of all state parks closing for the foreseeable future. Luckily the move was eventually exposed as a bluff by the governor, and nearly all parks remain open. But when it was still a possibility and the neighborhood groups were mobilizing to protest, a thought occurred to me:
“If the affected local communities were like disc golfers they’d get organized and figure out a way, through volunteerism and donated resources, to keep their parks open. If they approached the situation the way disc golfers have for decades, they’d probably even find a way to improve their parks.”
Think about it. Nearly all the disc golf courses being used by the public today – especially those in California – are the result of dogged lobbying efforts, countless hours of manual labor, and thousands of dollars of donated, non-taxpayer money. Disc golfers in California don’t look to the state, county or town when they want a new course in their area. Instead, they present an arrangement that should become even more attractive to local governments than it already is: Give us permission to install a course at our desired location, and we’ll pay for it, build it, and maintain it at no cost to the city/county/state.
When a municipality strained to the limit for resources hears an offer like this – especially now – it has a hard time turning it down. So maybe other interest groups should follow this example (and maybe they do, and I’m just unaware of other instances.) Come to think of it, parents of students that want to participate in sports, band, etc., have been asked to pony up for years.