I met with with new SLVUSD superintendent Chris Schiermeyer on Tuesday, July 13th, and came away feeling very encouraged and optimistic that we can forge a path to reopening Black Mouse. It’ll take some work and a sincere commitment to abide by all school rules, but I think it can be done.
I’ve listed a summary of the salient information Chris shared in brief bullet points, followed by what we would need to do, and what comes next.
- To start on a positive note, Chris said more than once that there is not one single board member who is firmly opposed to reopening the course. He also said he is aware of how many local families use and highly value the course, including several key district employees.
- The main reason the course has remained closed without discussion for the past six months has been work on the wastewater treatment system. Nitrogen levels are not within state regulations, and they need to redo the ponds and work on the leach fields. He also said they have a plan that once approved by the state should not take long to execute and complete.
- There are indeed homeowners who live near Black Mouse determined to permanently close the course, and these people have supplied district officials with pictures and video that clearly show disc golfers violating the rules that prohibit smoking, alcohol, drug use, and use of the course during school hours.
- The main reason the district would consider closing the course permanently is the drain on their resources; specifically administrators having to listen to and respond to complaints about disc golfers, and maintenance staff having to clean up trash and even feces(?!) left by disc golfers who park along the entrance road to the middle school parking lot.
- I want to emphasize this point: Chris said most complaints involve people parking where they shouldn’t, outside the middle school gate, and loitering loudly before and after rounds, then leaving garbage there.
- Someone retrieved “4 or 5” baskets claiming he paid for them himself. Does anyone know who this might be?
After Chris shared his list of issues and concerns about Black Mouse I presented some possible solutions. He liked all of them and even suggested one himself. The total list is as follows:
- Form a more official club, with a board of directors, officers, regular meetings, and a charter than includes the primary objectives of providing recreational disc golf opportunities in the SLV areas and maintaining a good relationship with the school district. This club would be the official link between the district and the disc golf community, and would be ultimately responsible for ensuring all disc golfers obey school ground rules.
- Change all online course listings. We need to make sure all rules are clearly stated in all course directory listings (or have the course removed from all listings), and make sure everything possible is done to deter players from parking in the wrong places.
- Create and install clear, unavoidable signage placed throughout the course that make the rules clear, as well as the fact that the district, school, and club all insist upon their strict adherence. Also, we need to fund the signage ourselves.
- Create a volunteer schedule to occasionally patrol the course and pick up trash at the end of weekends so school maintenance staff doesn’t show up Monday to a mess made (presumably) by disc golfers. This one was Chris’s suggestion. Hopefully we can change this disgusting practice by visitors; if we don’t, the course will be closed again soon after reopening anyway. But we should be willing to monitor the situation closely and clean up if necessary.
- Perhaps most importantly, those of us considered to be Black Mouse locals or regulars need to set the example in following all rules, and politely but firmly remind anyone we see that it’s either follow the rules or the course gets closed. This doesn’t mean “being discreet.” It means No Smoking, No Drugs, No Alcohol, No Playing During School Hours, and No Parking by the Middle School. Period.
This is the path to reopening Black Mouse.
I agreed to let the Superintendent know if the disc golf community agrees to these conditions, after which he would work to get a similar commitment from the board of directors.
So that’s where we’re at. I’d like to hear from y’all. What do you think? Can we do this?
13 thoughts on “Black Mouse Update 7-14-21”
SAVE BLACK MOUSE! SAVE BLACK MOUSE! SAVE BLACK MOUSE! BLACK MOUSE LIVES MATTER!
No beer and smoke is a bummer, but no black mouse is even more disappointing so do what we gotta do. It’ll be weird having to enforce this to other golfers
Also, what’s with the Black Mouse Lives Matter Comment? What jackass decides to equate systemic oppression of a race of people with a sport?
These all seem reasonable and achievable terms to reopen the course. Please let us know how we can can continue to advocate for the reopening of black mouse. Thank you for your efforts.
Watch the website for updates on joining the new club and helping fund the signage needed. Thanks!
Yes we can!!!! I agree to all the rules so black mouse can open again
I’m not an SLV local. I live in Reno, NV and I only got to play Black Mouse in the weekends when visiting family in Felton that played there regularly. My input would be that the costs as laid out are well worth the reward. The rules that are being laid out are pretty much the rules that I remember. I am willing to send some funding to help out. I can’t really do much more except commit to following the rules of the course. This is the course where I really started playing disc golf. I would love to see it return.
Sounds good to me! These are pretty much exactly what I was expecting we needed to do to get Black Mouse reopened. I would like to be part of the club board. Save Black Mouse!
I’m a not-local in San Jose. Black Mouse is my favorite course that I’ve played the most in the last 15 years, maybe 100 times.
I’ve always followed the rules I see listed here anyways, except, inadvertently, the parking apparently. In all sincerity, where would be the place to park? In the high school or elementary lots?
Good luck, fingers crossed, and thank you.
Thanks Matt. The place to park will be the elementary school lot, then walk straight up through campus (up concrete steps) to hole 1.
Usual suspects will help with clean up duties and bring trash bags as we play going forward.Must keep course litter free and support the new rules going forward.
Keeping parking areas litter free is even more important as they are more visible.
Might I suggest another corrective action. Have bags on the first tee for folks to take with them and pick up trash as they walk the course. Dump the bag when the are done in a bin and replace the bag for another’s use.