A park for tiny planes, disc golf

City considers groups' requests to use parts of public parks

Posted: Friday, February 22, 2002

Model airplane and flying-disc golf enthusiasts would have a place to play if proposals under review by the city's Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee are approved.

The two applications to use Juneau parkland will be considered by the committee at its March 5 meeting. The city's Parks and Recreation Department is accepting written comments until then.

The nine-hole flying-disc golf course would go in the northeast corner of Dimond Park, at least until a new high school planned for the site is built. The game is similar to traditional golf, but players use Frisbee-type discs and throw them at above-ground targets called pole holes, according to the application.

The course would be smaller than a traditional golf course and would require very little clearing, according to James Brown, who filed the application and has volunteered to design the course.

The disc "is smaller and thinner, more dense than a Frisbee. But you can play with a Frisbee also," Brown said. "It's cheap to play and it's fun."

Meanwhile, the Gastineau Aeromodelers Society is proposing to put a 70-by-400-foot grass runway in Amalga Meadows, just north of the lodge used by the Southeast Alaska Guidance Association near mile 25 Glacier Highway. The area would be used to fly model airplanes.

Currently, group members fly planes in an area past Skaters Cabin in the winter. In the summer, they use Eagle Beach, Sheep Creek and Dimond Park, said Ray Rusaw, treasurer and field coordinator for the society. The group would like to move to a spot of its own, he said.

"Most of Juneau's activities happen in Whitehorse," he said. "They have a wonderful site up there. I don't see why the capital city can't have a bona fide flying site as well."

If the weather is good, the average model-plane flyer would make four to six flights a day for seven to 20 minutes per run, according to the application. The site also could be used to launch model rockets, the application said.

Written comments on the proposals can be submitted by e-mail at parks_rec@ci.juneau.ak.us. Public testimony will be accepted at the committee's March 5 meeting, which starts at 6 p.m. in Assembly chambers. The proposals are available at www.juneau.org/parks-rec/prac/.

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