County OKs Little Trout Lake Park additions

The gazebo at Little Trout Lake Park at K.I. Sawyer is pictured. On Wednesday, the Marquette County Board approved adding more playground equipment, a parking lot, a pit toilet and disc golf course at the park, which is county-owned and operated. (Journal file photo)

MARQUETTE — The Marquette County Board of Commissioners on Wednesday unanimously authorized the Gwinn Lions, Disc Da U.P. and Club (906) to add playground equipment, a parking lot, a pit toilet and disc golf course at Little Trout Lake Park in K.I. Sawyer.

“Dale Vincent of Gwinn Lions Club approached the county about the possibility of constructing some grant projects at Little Trout Lake Park,” Marquette County Board Chairman Gerald Corkin said. “The (Gwinn Lions portion of the) project includes a parking lot, a pit toilet, playground equipment and a couple of disc golf course holes. The projects will be all (Americans with Disabilities Act)-compliant, as required by the grant, so staff recommends we allow this. It seems like a very sensible request.”

The previously noted improvements will be constructed and funded by the Gwinn Lions Club, with the remainder of the disc golf course to be funded, installed and maintained by local disc golf organizations Disc Da U.P. and Club (906), according to board documents.

The county will be responsible for “limited maintenance of the area” but “does not have to apply or administer the grant and construction,” or provide matching funds, according to a letter from Sawyer Director of Operations Steve Schenden.

The disc golf course will be created next to Little Trout Lake, near the old community gardens and baseball fields, “which will be perfect” for the project, as it is a wide-open space that isn’t currently used, states a letter from Jamie Vincent, who is acting on behalf of both disc golf organizations.

The two disc golf groups would install nine professional Gateway Disc Sports baskets; install markers for the tee pads with the hole number and stance; install an information board and donation tube; establish parking by mowing and marking a parking lot; and maintain the course as needed, according to Jamie Vincent’s letter.

The groups, which have already raised enough funds to begin, plan to start on the project as soon as possible, “before the snow starts falling,” Jamie Vincent’s letter states.

When the course is open, it will be completely free and open to the public, the letter states, noting that organizers hope the course can help expand opportunities available to play disc golf in the Upper Peninsula.

“We hope this will be a big success with the local children and people of every age in the community and the county,” Jamie Vincent wrote in the letter.

Commissioners expressed overwhelming support for the projects at Wednesday night’s meeting.

“To me, that’s a win-win situation because you knew how it grew in other parts of the U.P., so thank you very much for doing that,” Commissioner John DePetro said.

Commissioner Karen Alholm also expressed her support for the project, saying: “I think it’s a wonderful idea.”