2017-07-06 / Front Page

Disc golf comes to Rotary Park

By Grant McPherson
Staff Writer


Biddeford residents Zachary Boston, left, and Brad Gagnon at the tee stand for the first hole of the proposed public disc golf course in Rotary Park. The men received approval for their project in March and began mowing in May. They hope to complete the course by this fall. (Grant McPherson photo) Biddeford residents Zachary Boston, left, and Brad Gagnon at the tee stand for the first hole of the proposed public disc golf course in Rotary Park. The men received approval for their project in March and began mowing in May. They hope to complete the course by this fall. (Grant McPherson photo) BIDDEFORD – Two Biddeford residents are hoping to bring free disc golf to Rotary Park before the end of the year in an effort to grow the sport and give local children an opportunity to try a new outdoor activity.

Zachary Boston, 28 and Brad Gagnon, 29, have been friends for almost 15 years and working together to raise funds to help clear space in Rotary Park and purchase necessary equipment.

Boston said he discovered the sport after a motorcycle crash limited his physical activity and Gagnon invited him to play. Boston said despite his injuries he was able to throw the disc and enjoy his time on the course. He said after tossing around the idea with Gagnon about starting their own course, he talked with his mother Patricia Boston, a former city councilor, to better understand how to approach the city with a project plan. Boston said they put their proposal before the recreation commission in February and received approval in March. He said in May public works director Guy Casavant allowed them to begin mowing the fields in the park.


Brad Gagnon mows a section of Rotary Park that will hopefully become a public disc golf course by this fall. Gagnon and his partner Zachary Boston are about halfway to their fundraising goal and are accepting donations as well as more volunteer help. Their organization is called the Riverside Drive Collective and there are donations jars at several businesses in Saco and Biddeford. (Courtesy photo) Brad Gagnon mows a section of Rotary Park that will hopefully become a public disc golf course by this fall. Gagnon and his partner Zachary Boston are about halfway to their fundraising goal and are accepting donations as well as more volunteer help. Their organization is called the Riverside Drive Collective and there are donations jars at several businesses in Saco and Biddeford. (Courtesy photo) “We have time to set this up,” Boston said. “But once it is, it’s a resource for the city. We will have no ownership of it aside from organizing volunteers around it.”

Gagnon said feedback from the community has been positive. He said he’s glad to see the unused space being taken advantage of.

“I have a passion for disc golf so I love seeing this come together,” Gagnon said.

Gagnon said he first became interested in disc golf after graduating high school but didn’t start playing frequently again until the past two or three years. He said he first started playing in Scarborough, and now goes to Saco or Limerick if he wants to play. Gagnon said he enjoys the community experience on the course and always finds friendly faces when he is outside throwing. He said the sport is very technical but easy enough for the average person to try it for the first time and have fun.

“A bad day on the disc golf course is still a good day in my opinion,” Gagnon said.

Gagnon said meeting new people on the course is one of the main reasons he enjoys disc golf. He said he once joined a group of people ahead of him and discovered one of them was a professional disc golf player. Gagnon said the pro offered him tips and helped improve his game.

“Once we played a round of disc golf we became friends,” Gagnon said.

Boston said they need about $5,000 to complete the course. He said the baskets that catch the discs at the end of each hole will cost $3,000 altogether, plus they need tee pads, signs and hopefully a few benches. Boston said a fundraiser at Portland Pie Company in Biddeford Thursday, June 15 was a success thanks to raffle prizes donated by Play It Again Sports, Portland Pie and Dirigo Brewing. He said they have also placed donation jars at several businesses in Saco and Biddeford.

“We should be close to halfway near our goal,” Boston said. “We still need to check some jars.”

Gagnon said anyone interested in the sport should get out and try it. He said most of the people he’s taken out to play end up asking him when he’s available to go again. Gagnon said the sport is budget friendly with most course fees being $5 or less and discs being relatively inexpensive to purchase or rent. He said once he was able to understand the game better he had much more fun challenging himself.

“Every time I go out I learn something new,” Gagnon said.

Boston said he and Gagnon are open to suggestions concerning the construction of the course and would like to see more people get involved in the implementation of the project. He said the group can be reached by email at riversidedrivecollective@gmail.com or on their Facebook page, www.facebook.com/RDCMAINE. Boston said the city has no plans to take over maintenance of the park but hopes someone will step forward once the course is up and running.

“Many hands make light work,” he said.

Gagnon said he’ll be happy to continue mowing the course if no one else is available. He said he would like to establish an after school program as well to help introduce the sport to children or people of any age.

“I can definitely see myself helping out in the future,” Gagnon said.

“It’s an investment into the city, not our wallets,” Boston said.

Contact Staff Writer Grant McPherson at news@inthecourier.com

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