Black Mouse Update 01-13-23

Next Club Meeting, The State of the Course, Next Steps Forward

The course opened just before the Thanksgiving break, as planned. It took place without announcement or fanfare to minimize any unforeseen negative impact, but as expected word spread quickly anyway.

The positives were enormous and plentiful, and the negatives (I’ll get to them shortly) few and mostly minor.

I’ve run into and heard from sooo many people who are thrilled to have the Mouse back, most pledging to help us make sure disc golf in SLV survives and thrives. Hearing the stories and seeing the happy faces has been incredibly gratifying.

On the down side,

  • Some cars are still parking in the wrong place, but that should get better as word spreads and the school remembers to keep the middle school gate closed.
  • Believe it or not, despite all the signs we’re still finding trash on the course, including beer bottles
  • Some players took it upon themselves to modify the course. That just can’t happen. The club and only the club, in conjunction with the district, makes those decisions.

All in all, though, disc golfers have represented themselves and the sport well since the course reopened. Now we’ll see how we do with school back in session. Moving forward . . .

The storms have already created new damage in multiple places around the course. Work will need to be done, and equipment replaced. This will be addressed at the next meeting, on Wednesday January 25th at 6 PM at Redwood Pizza in Felton. We’ll schedule work days and other maintenance and discuss possible events in 2023.

Black Mouse Update: 11-11-22

This update includes info on our progress toward reopening the course, the future of this website, and another reminder about the rules.

First things first: Great progress was made at the work day last Sunday. Special thanks to Logan, his friend Kip, and OG Dan for cutting up large downed trees that made holes 6 and 7 unplayable and unpassable.

As it stands currently, we’ll be able to reopen with 17 holes. Holes 2 and 3 need some more work to make 3 playable and ensure the safety of players on the somewhat shared fairway between holes 1 and 2. For that reason, we will temporarily tee backwards from the hole 2 tee to the hole 4 basket. Holes 2, 3, and 4 will be restored (and possibly with new basket locations for 2 and 3) as soon as possible.

A big part of maintenance moving forward will be to simply move debris piles downhill to locations where they can be chipped. Stay tuned for more on this and other future projects.

Rules Reminder

In figuring out how to best satisfy our promise to the district to create signage that reminds course users of the school premises’ rules. The decision was made to create new teesigns that will double as school premises rules signs. A draft example is shown below.

We had a volunteer show up with a dog and a 12-pack on Sunday. I won’t call him out by name, because he said he just didn’t know yet, but it gives me a good opportunity to address the rules again.

  • If school is in session or the school is using the space (for a cross country race or HS disc golf event), the course is closed for public use.
  • No smoking or vaping. Period.
  • No alcohol on school grounds. Duh.
  • No illegal substances. Duh.
  • Pack all your trash away from the course. We don’t want the janitors to come to work on Monday mornings and find full trash cans- especially cans full of beer bottles.
  • No pets, not even on a leash. Sorry about this one, but it is apparently a school safety things.
  • As sunset approaches, wrap it up. The course closes at “dusk,” defined as “the darker stage of twilight.”

We are still on track to have the course open for play before Thanksgiving. Stay tuned for further announcements.

Regarding this website, it’ll still be home to the SLVDGC and Black Mouse info. Possibly in the future it’ll welcome other clubs as well.

Black Mouse Update: 10-31-22

As of October 27th, 2022, the San Lorenzo Valley Disc Golf Club and San Lorenzo Valley Unified School District have a signed agreement in place that should enable the reopening of the San Lorenzo Valley Unified School District Black Mouse Disc Golf Course, hopefully by Thanksgiving.

Our new club has agreed to a number of terms in exchange for the reopening and continued use of the disc golf course. If you are one of the many who have asked me over the past two years how you can help with Black Mouse, you are about to get your chance!

The most important thing everyone can do is obey all posted rules, from where to park (the elementary school lot), to the no-brainers (no play during school hours, no alcohol, no smoking, no illegal substances, no littering), and even no dogs, leashed or otherwise. Also, spread the word. Make it clear to everyone that we take these rules seriously.

We have a scheduled work day on the course on Sunday, November 6th, starting at 9 AM. Bring gloves, loppers, and heavy-duty rakes. If you’re skilled at cutting up big logs, we need you!

The club is taking on the responsibility for ensuring disc golfers don’t leave trash anywhere on school property, or doing the best we can to minimize it. Part of this will be to create a volunteer schedule so that someone checks the parking lot and course at the end of the day on Sundays to ensure school maintenance doesn’t have to deal with it on Mondays. Signing up to do this once a month would be a great way to help keep Black Mouse open.

More New Info

  • One new rule popped up when we discussed basic school rules. Pets of any kind are not allowed on school property. This means no dogs, period, except for true service animals. The signage we put up will reflect this.
  • The school has decided that the elementary school parking lot is the only location disc golf courses users will be allowed to park. All course listings will reflect this.

Black Mouse Update 10-20-22

Quick update and reminder about the meeting TONIGHT, 6 PM, Redwood Pizzeria in Felton.

I only have one quick update that is in any way new news beyond the post before this. The assistant superintendent is working on a general use agreement that will officially be between the SLVUSD and this new club, SLVDGC. That and the other items listed in the last post will be discussed at tonight’s meeting, 6 PM @ Redwood Pizza in Felton. Hope to see you there!

Black Mouse Update 10-13-22: Finally!

SLVDGC Meeting Oct. 20 at 6 PM at Redwood Pizza in Felton

The Mouse is . . . (drumroll, please) . . . . . . coming back! Lets those tears of joy flow.

I know I’ve been saying this for two years, but until now it’s been more of an optimistic mantra. A way to speak it into being. But now it’s way more concrete.

On a scheduled call with the powers that be this morning, I was informed that the wastewater treatment project adjacent to the course is complete enough that we can begin taking the steps that will lead to our beloved Black Mouse being once again open for play.

Awesome image courtesy of Ron Hill, LLC

Here is a quick summary of those steps:

  • Signage- We committed to funding and installing signage to be placed in strategic areas to remind disc golfers that all school property rules be strictly observed. Thanks to a quick and generous response to a GoFundMe campaign, we already have money for this
  • Clearing, etc- We’ve already done most of this, but thanks to the felling of some large Doug Fir trees from the hole 9 area down to holes 1 and 2, there is more to do. We also need to move the tee for hole 10 as previously mentioned here. These tasks are not a requirement for reopening but rather to restore the course as closely as possible to the way it was, with at least 18 playable holes
  • There is one new requirement. The district is asking that we obtain liability insurance. The cost should not be prohibitive.

We’ve scheduled a club meeting for next Thursday, October 20th at 6 pm at Redwood Pizza in Felton to create a plan to accomplish these final tasks so we can get our baskets back in the ground and the course reopened for play.

I also need to remind everyone of the actual rules we’ll have to follow: No play during hours, no smoking of any kind, no alcohol, and no littering. If we don’t take this seriously, Mouse 2.0 will be short-lived. They made that clear once again on the call. If you can’t follow these rules to the letter at all times while on school grounds (including parking areas, of course), please, please, PLEASE just play somewhere else.

The district believes in the value of the course but faces strong opposition from the NIMBY neighbors- the same neighbors who enjoy filming disc golfers, hoping to capture incriminating evidence.

If you can’t make it to the meeting next week, stay tuned for news of work days and an official reopening date. Thanks everyone for your support and patience.