Murray County 4-H club honored
SLAYTON -- Residents of Slayton and the surrounding area may be enjoying their local disc golf course by this weekend, considering summer-like temperatures are finally going to arrive in southwest Minnesota.
The golf course opened nearly a year ago, but the work a local 4-H club did to make the course a reality recently earned recognition by the Association of Minnesota Counties.
The Slayton Shooting Stars 4-H Club received the AMC's 4-H Community Leadership award, including a plaque and a $250 gift, in March. That money will now be used to furnish two benches on the course, as well as anchor garbage containers to posts so people can help keep the course clean.
The first hole of the course is located on the north end of the city pool parking lot, with the nine-hole design winding its way around a trio of ball fields.
"You play the course and end up at the first hole again," said David Bau, Shooting Stars 4-H Club leader and course designer. "A lot of people have liked the layout. It's kind of challenging for them."
The course was four years in the making, starting first with the idea presented to 4-H club members. Then, as club leader, Bau approached the city of Slayton to see if it would be OK to put the course on city-owned property.
Once those details were worked out, the club set a $4,000 fundraising goal to pay for the course materials. It received Operation Round-Up funds from Nobles Cooperative Electric the first two years, and also sought donations from a dozen community organizations. The remainder of the funds came from the club's share of county-wide 4-H fruit sale fundraisers.
With final approval of the course design from Slayton's Park and Recreation Board in November 2011, construction began in May 2012.
Throughout the summer and fall last year, Bau said the course was well used.
"The pool manager said she could not believe the amount of traffic it got all day long," he said. "All age groups -- high school kids were there around the clock using it. I'm sure it hasn't been used too much this year yet because of the snow. Some of the kids from the club go down quite regularly and play it."
In addition to adding benches and garbage containers this year, Bau said the club will tweak the course in other ways, such as adding flags at each of the holes.
The course is open and free to the public to use, with scorecards available on the first hole. If cards happen to be out when players arrive, they are also available at the City Pool and City Hall. Also available to players is a layout of the course and an aerial photo.
With the club's Community Pride project virtually complete, Bau said he isn't sure what it will come up with for its next community project.
The Shooting Stars 4-H Club consists of approximately 20 members, ranging in age from 5 to a high school senior.
Daily Globe Reporter Julie Buntjer may be reached at 376-7330.