By Chris Pickup

Haldimand County is kicking in a grant of $9,941 from the community partnership capital reserve to help fund a Disc Golf Course at Caledonia’s LaFortune park.

The three-way partnership will see another $9,942 from community fund-raising and $9,941 from the LaFortune Park reserve fund established by former owner Perry LaFortune, who died in 1969, to provide financial support for capital projects related to the park’s continued use.

Friends of LaFortune Park, a 40-50 strong community group that has been looking after the 106-acre property since 2014, was approached in spring 2017 by local disc golf enthusiasts (the newly formed Caledonia Disc Golf Association) with a proposal to consider installing a course at LaFortune.

These residents travel throughout southwestern Ontario to participate in the sport and felt the park presented an ideal location for a course, with its diverse, naturalized landscape and proximity between existing courses in the Hamilton/Niagara and Brantford/Cambridge areas.

Disc golf is a variation of regular golf that uses a disc rather than a ball and stick. It has 18 holes and fairways but players throw a disc into baskets rather than putt a ball into holes. Disc golf is easy to learn and play, and participants span from young children to seniors 80+ years old.

“We’re fortunate this group (Friends of LaFortune) stepped up to look after this park,” CAO Don Boyle said last Tuesday. “We didn’t know what to do with it.”

Some 40-50 members show up at every meeting to discuss how to make the park more beneficial to the community, and hold community events such as annual clean-up days to keep it spruced up. It has rehabilitated a pavilion and is currently constructing picnic tables.

The Caledonia Disc Golf Association will maintain the course in collaboration with Friends and county staff.