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Service: Design and Site Planning
Location: University of Maine
City: Orono, ME
Status: In progress
The Big Idea for the design of the 3-hole disc golf course at the University of Maine was to create a stronger connection between the Campus Rec Center and surrounding residential areas to the University Forest, one of the area’s prized green spaces. With the state-of-the-art Campus Rec Center as the crowning jewel of the Northeast portion of campus, students will be able to check out loaner discs to play the course that begins and ends directly adjacent in the University Forest. While the permanent 3-hole course will be ready for play at the end of September 2013, the university is hoping that a positive reception to the growing sport of disc golf will justify implementation of a full 9 or 18-hole course.
The University Forest on UMaine campus is home a wide variety of activities — from educational plant walks and ropes course elements to a paved bike trail and miles of trails for cross country skiers as well as runners. The current “3-hole disc golf loop” sits on an old Army ROTC training course that has fallen into disrepair. The removal of these relics opened up a perfect small scale disc golf course that was in close proximity to the Campus Rec Center, and a great way to help prove to the University of Maine system that disc golf is a low impact, inexpensive addition to their campus.
Isolated between multiple rivers and riparian corridors in Northern Maine, the University of Maine appears to have some growth restrictions as forest preserves and the Stillwater River flank the campus on multiple sides. UMaine Campus Recreation excitedly welcomes the sport, as they have seen dozens of disc golfers make the 25 minute drive to the nearest surrounding course on a daily basis. While a 3-hole course may be less than some avid players will want, the Campus Recreation Department hopes that constant use will help justify to the university that additional holes are a must. Designing in such a fashion that the course is a technical, yet beginner-friendly challenge, we feel that the variety of shot making necessary on the course will appeal to the advanced players while still catering to beginners.
Highly used in its current state, the University Forest on the University of Maine campus provides a welcomed home to a disc golf course of any scale. With a very minimal ecological impact, a disc golf course at the university could attract a wide variety of users from both UMaine students and professors to surrounding school children and local residents. We look forward to installation of the course, and further expansion in the future.