SLV Needs Black Mouse, and Black Mouse needs you!

The San Lorenzo Valley needs its disc golf course to open back up, and Black Mouse needs your help to make sure that happens. Click here to sign a petition and post a testimonial sharing what Black Mouse means to you. You can read other testimonials here.

Since the decision on if/when to reopen rests solely on the San Lorenzo Valley Unified School District board of directors, we need to let them know how many people consider the course to be a valuable community asset, and convince them we will respect, obey, and even help enforce all school campus rules. Primarily, No Smoking, No Alcohol, and No Play During School Hours.

Here is how you can help to get Black Mouse restored

  • Sign the petition. Comments will be added to the Testimonials page of this website (you can also let us know if you have pictures to accompany your comments).
  • Send your supportive and respectful show of support of Black Mouse directly to SLVUSD superintendent Dr. Laurie Bruton (you can find her email address here). Please remember how many other things she has dealt with the past year. In addition to COVID school closures and reopening, and fire evacuations, she lost her own home to the fires.
  • The board will discuss the fate of Black Mouse at an upcoming meeting, and it would be helpful to have a strong showing of community support. However, we don’t yet know when this will happen. If you don’t want to miss this meeting, keep a vigilant watch on this page on the district website. The agenda for upcoming meetings are posted in advance, so when new agendas are posted, skim them to see if the disc golf course is mentioned.
Support Black Mouse Disc Golf Course
7th and 8th-grade students with teacher Melissa Stockton pose for a picture on the Black Mouse Disc Golf Course in 2018 after their P.E. class.

Since its installation in 2001, the Black Mouse Disc Golf Course has provided a free source of outdoor recreation for thousands of residents of the San Lorenzo Valley and Santa Cruz County. It also brings in a not insignificant amount of ‘out of town’ trade. Thanks to the Nature Academy students who installed it and the volunteers who maintain it, through Black Mouse thousands have discovered a unique sport that has changed their lives.

Disc golf – already one of the fastest growing sports in the world – has spiked in popularity during the pandemic. In addition to providing affordable, open air exercise, the sport lends itself particularly well to social distancing and can be played by people of all ages.

The San Lorenzo Valley School District decided to remove the basket targets and close the course when wildfires forced evacuations in the summer of 2020. It was an understandable decision back then, but the time has come to restore a valuable community asset.

daddy daughter disc golf
Daddy-Daughter Day at Black Mouse.

SLV needs Black Mouse!

If you agree, please sign the petition to reopen the course so we can demonstrate the popularity of – and strong support for – our beloved Black Mouse. Especially if you live in the San Lorenzo Valley, please include your address as local community support is especially important.

Use the ‘Other Details’ field to share what Black Mouse means to you. For instance:

  • How disc golf in general or Black Mouse specifically has improved your life
  • If disc golf is an activity you share with your family
  • If you or your children are students at an SLV School District School
  • Your age, especially if you are a student or a senior
  • Any other details that help demonstrate why restoring Black Mouse is important to you

Also, let us know if you don’t want us to list your full name along with your comments on our Testimonials page. Thanks!

  • support black mouse disc golf
  • Support Black Mouse Disc Golf
  • black mouse disc golf

Black Mouse Facts

disc golf books
The original fundraiser disc design created by a Nature Academy student (who is now around 33 years old) back in 2001.

The Black Mouse Disc Golf Course was designed by Disc Golf Hall of Fame member Tom Schot in 2001.

The project was proposed to the SLV Unified School District by Carter Milhouse, founder and teacher of the on-campus Nature Academy charter middle school. Much of the clearing and installation work was done by Nature Academy students and parents, who also solicited financial support from local businesses and community members.

Disc Golf Association of Watsonville, CA allowed the Nature Academy to repay the cost of the equipment over time, which the program did. Its CEO Ed Headrick – known as the Father of Disc Golf for his invention of the disc golf basket and other important contributions to the sport – attended the grand opening less than a year before his death in 2002. Black Mouse is the last course “Steady’ Ed personally helped open.

Players from multiple Santa Cruz County schools gather for a photo after then SCCIDGL Finals.

The existence of Black Mouse on a school campus is a major reason Santa Cruz County launched the world’s first high school disc golf league, the Santa Cruz County Interscholastic Disc Golf League. SLV High School won the league title – and the handsome Nate Doss Cup trophy – three of the first four years. Aptos High School would later build a course on its grounds as well.

The Nature Academy as well as SLV Middle School have integrated disc golf into their PE curricula. Numerous SLV alums now enjoy disc golf with their friends and families as adults thanks to their introduction to the sport on the SLV campus.

Disc golf week in P.E. class; Black Mouse P.E. in Nature Academy