, 2022-09-11 21:00:32,
With a shotgun start and Queen’s “We are the Champions” playing, disc golfers dispersed for 18 rounds of disc golf at Kimball Pines Park on Thursday.
The players took aim at 18 baskets, each seeking to rattle chains with an “ace” at the newly expanded course.
Largely destroyed by a 2011 straight-line wind storm, the disc golf course at Kimball Pines has returned to some of its former glory thanks to volunteer efforts and funding through a 2020 parks millage.
“The county didn’t have the funds to take care of the park, so tons of blood, sweat and tears have been put in with work through volunteers,” said Kevin Baldwin, a disc golfer who runs the league. “It’s really good the community came together and passed the millage and got the funding for it. You can come out here and see the difference. This park has really grown a lot and we’re looking forward to more growth.”
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The 117-acre park at 1158 East Michigan Ave. in Emmett Township sits tucked behind the Calhoun County Medical Care Facility, without an entrance of its own.
As part of a five-year millage passed in 2020 by 61% of voters − with additional funding through a Michigan Department of Natural Resources grant, a new entrance is being constructed at Kimball Pines. Also planned are restroom remodeling, a new pavilion and grills, improved parking and new pathway up to the standards of the Americans with Disabilities Act.
The millage will generate approximately $730,000 per year to operate, preserve, acquire, maintain and develop Calhoun County’s parks. Each year, 50% of the millage revenue is available to Calhoun County municipalities for local park projects, with allocations based on population size.
“We’ve had volunteer crews at Kimball Pines for years working on the back nine,” Calhoun County Parks Director Doug Farrell said. “The front nine was opened back up four years ago and the back nine, every year opening it up a little more, cutting in the holes. This summer is when the baskets went in.
“For me this is phase one. I encourage people to get out and use it, walk, go on the Calhoun County trail, use the restrooms, but also know it’s also just the first part.”
In the 1930s and 1940s, 100 acres of plantation pines were planted at the location….
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