Black Mouse Update 5-8-23

A new threat of permanent closure; a new plan for and a new idea for cleanup and maintenance

Starting with the positive, Black Mouse is open for play. BUT NOT DURING SCHOOL HOURS! More on that in a sec.

If you haven’t been up there since the winter storms, and as you might imagine, much new damage to the course has taken place.

Photo taken on 2-12-23. Several more storms have come through since then.

Those who hold Black Mouse disc golf course precious are faced with two basic and not insignificant challenges:

  1. Keep the course open.
  2. Maintain the course so that it can fulfill its maximum potential as a community resource and awesome disc golf venue.

Number 1 is simple, sort of. The rules themselves make complete sense given the course’s location. Even those in the disc golf community who would rather bend a few agree that the trade-off is more than worth it.

“The best we can do is spread the consistent message that breaking those rules will get the course closed down for good. So please, do that.”

The problem is that not everyone who decides on a whim to go play Black Mouse is part of the “disc golf community.” The social mores that help keep members of a community accountable to one another don’t apply if the offenders are not part of the community.

The best we can do is spread the consistent message that breaking those rules will get the course closed down for good, in hopes that any community members who are among the rule breakers (thinking they will go undetected and therefore no harm, no foul) change their ways pronto. So please, do that. Hopefully they will hear the message.

I bring this up because I received an email from the school district over the weekend.

Taken at their word, the district agrees with the value the course brings the community and wants it open. They have told me they won’t shut it down for a single rule violation. But after that, it gets kinda vague, and that concerns me.

Course Cleanup & Maintenance

The recent storms were of the once-in-a-century variety, and their impact on the course will require at least as much work to get things ship-shape as we recently did to reopen. The reality, though, is that the same qualities that make The Mouse so special also require steady upkeep and maintenance even in normal years.

To address the big stuff, Bodi Tunheim and I took a class that will hopefully enable us to get a work crew from Camp Ben Lomond in during the summer. This is a CalFire facility in Bonny Doon that houses low-risk inmates who choose to serve their time working outdoors. They will be able to bring in large saws and hauling equipment to clear downed trees.

As for the smaller stuff and ongoing maintenance, I have an idea and would like feedback.

One notable aspect of the overwhelming response to our petition that helped reopen the course was the existence of many different clusters of friends and family. In other words, many unrelated “subsets” of our local disc golf community. Let’s call them crews— people who play together on the same course on a regular basis. They might even have unofficial names, like the Sunday Funday crew or the Bucket Brigade.

I think we easily have enough of these “crews” for each hole to be adopted by one. Maybe Victor, Steve, and Karen take one hole, Rob, Faith, Ron, and Marshall take another (although Marshall may insist on three), and so on.

So what do you think?

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