April 18, 2024 1:57 pm

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Lynnwood opens city’s first ever disc golf course at Gold Park, a new “Gold Standard” for Parks and Rec

LYNNWOOD—The City of Lynnwood held a ribbon cutting ceremony at Gold Park, Tuesday, January 16, commemorating the opening of the city’s first ever public disc golf course.

Disc golf, formerly known as frisbee golf, is a flying disc sport where players take turns tossing specialized discs (putters, mids, drivers, etc.) down a course with the ultimate goal of landing it in a designated (often chain-linked) basket. The sport uses similar rules to golf in that each course has a par and the number of attempts it takes to reach the basket determine your overall scoring.

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Council Vice President Julieta Altamirano-Crosby, Boy Scout Braedan Swan, Mayor Christine Frizzell, and Lynn Sordel, Director of Parks and Recreation, at the ribbon cutting ceremony at Gold Park on January 16, 2024. Lynnwood Times | Mario Lotmore.

There are currently 10,051 disc golf courses across the country with quite a few falling in Washington State. A mobile phone app, called Udisc, can be used to locate disc golf courses nearby, as well as offering useful tools including point tallying.

The Gold Park Disc Golf project was funded with $56,000 from the City’s funds, a $5,000 donation from the Eagle Scout projects, and a $5,500 in-kind donation.

During this commemorative event speakers included (listed in the order in which they spoke): Sarah Olsen, PRCA Deputy Director, the Honorable Mike Evans, President of the Snohomish tribe of Indians, Lynn Sordel, PRCA Director, Lynnwood Mayor Christine Frizzell, Lynnwood City Council President George Hurst, Chair of the Park Board Tom Krause, Parks Superintendent Eric Peterson, and Lynnwood Police Chief Cole Langdon.

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Mayor Christine Frizzell with Parks and Recreation team that helped renovate Gold Park. Lynnwood Times | Mario Lotmore.

“When Lynn Sordel approached me, what feels like many months ago, I thought: really? People really want to do that there – throw frisbees at trees?,Mayor Frizzell jokingly stated during the ceremony. “I’m not minimizing the sport, now I realize there’s talent there. But to come here from where we were a year ago to this beautiful area that’s been provided has been amazing.”

Frizzell noted although she grew up in Lynnwood, she seldom paid Gold Park a visit because it “always seemed dark and dreary” but thanks to the City’s tireless restoration efforts it now feels like an “open and welcoming space.”

“That’s what makes a community…strong collaboration and partnerships are imperative for any successful project, and this was no exception,” said Frizzell.

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Lynn Sordel, Director of Parks and Recreation, speaking at the ribbon cutting ceremony at Gold Park on January 16, 2024. Lynnwood Times | Mario Lotmore.

Frizzell shared she didn’t know very much about disc golf when the idea was brought to her desk so when she stumbled upon a couple disc golf players at Gold Park, who were visiting from Canada, she asked if she could tag along and learn more. Now, she continued, she has come to learn how impressive the sport can be and is excited for the city’s first ever course. She emphasized the usage of the word “first” in “first ever disc golf course”, hinting that another one may be in the works.

Also in attendance was Lynnwood City Council members Julieta Altamirano-Crosby, Shirley Sutton, David Parshall, and Councilman Nick Coelho, as well as a list of Lynnwood City staff members including the Police Department and Parks and Recreation.

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Click on the map above to view the locations and details of each park.

Council President George Hurst joked that the disc golf course is the new “gold standard” for park activities across the city of Lynnwood’s 17 parks, spanning over 350 acres.

“Really this is going to be a park that people are going to want to come to,” said President Hurst.

In late 2022 local Boy Scout Andrew Young earned his Eagle Scout ranking by improving the Steljixwali Ethnobotanical garden pathway and installing a new trail map at Gold Park. A certificate was awarded to Young’s parents at the ribbon cutting ceremony, in honor of Young’s work who was unable to attend the event.

By the beginning of 2023 the park began to see a rise in unhoused individuals resulting in environmental damage, vandalism, hazardous waste and open air drug use. By Spring of 2023 911 calls requesting response to the park by the Lynnwood PD Community Health and Safety unit skyrocketed. A cleanup effort was conducted for Earth Day, in April 2023, to restore the Ethnobotanical Gardens.

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New Gold Park signage on January 16, 2024. Lynnwood Times | Mario Lotmore.

Additionally, beginning that Spring through Summer, the city led an outreach initiative to individuals’ day camping in Gold Park to offer services and enforce city laws while increasing park operations, clean-up activities, and daily operations. In 2023 a whopping 5-yards of garbage was removed, 20 yards of landscape overgrowth was removed, 30 yards of arbor chips was lain, and 15 yards of gravel was placed, all in Gold Park as part of these efforts. Since then, word has gotten around and daily visitors have been increasing.

The cleanup effort was part of the recently-approved ParksLove Project which considers how to maintain existing parks to be high-quality and safe while looking to responsibly expand parks and trails to meet the demand of Lynnwood’s growing community.

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Braedan Swan (center) with his family (left), Parks Superintendent Eric Peterson, Lynn Sordel, PRCA Director, and Lynnwood Mayor Christine Frizzell at Gold Park on January 16, 2024. Lynnwood Times | Mario Lotmore

Last August local Boy Scout Braedan Swan and volunteer Jeff “Getty” Freeman began working with City of Lynnwood staff to bring the 9-hole disc golf course to the city’s Gold Park. Braedan earned an Eagle Scout ranking for these efforts.

“This whole community adventure has been a huge undertaking and I only played a small part,” said Swan.

In September 2023, the City of Lynnwood hosted a National Public Lands Day event at Gold Park where community members and local fitness center, Experience Momentum, employees began the necessary preparations.

Just last month, December, 2023, the City of Lynnwood completed several park improvements to Gold Bar park including installing new park fencing, a kiosk, and a portable restroom.

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A golf disc is thrown from a tee area to a target, that is known as the “hole.” At Gold Park, the elevated metal basket is the “hole.” Lynnwood Times | Mario Lotmore.

Located at 6421 200th Street, in south Lynnwood, Gold Park is preserved as forested open space with trails, grassy clearings, a seasonal stream, and a variety of Northwest plants. Some of the trees in Gold Park span over 100 years in age.

In 2010, students in the Learn-n-serve Environmental Anthropology Field (LEAF) at Edmonds College adopted Gold Park. With Snohomish Tribe of Indians, the school improved the trail system, and developed the “Stolja Ali” Place of Medicine Ethnobotanical Garden. The Garden showcases native plants of the Coast Salish Tribe and their modern uses and roles in restoration and ecology.  

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Honorable Mike Evans, President of the Snohomish tribe of Indians blessing the land and giving tribute to his ancestors. Lynnwood Times | Mario Lotmore.

“This is Snohomish territory and I want to make sure that you are all welcome to Snohomish territory,” said Honorable Mike Evans, President of the Snohomish tribe of Indians who shared his tribe has been visiting Gold Park for years and has a vested interest in.

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