AUSTIN (KXAN) – You may have never played Frisbee or disc golf, but the City of Austin is spending $200,000 in taxpayer money to fix a disc golf course in Zilker Park.
“We played in the 70s before the park was set up as a disc golf course,” Austin resident Jeff Trask said. “We would just kind of make a makeshift course and play.”
Trask still makes it out to play a few times a week. “[I] have always enjoyed it, always thought it was just a wonderful oasis.”
But he has also noticed a problem.
“The foot traffic takes out the vegetation; and then when it rains, since there is no vegetation to hold to soil, it washes away,” Trask said. “It just wouldn’t be playable for several days.”
The City of Austin took note of the erosion problems and put their engineers to work.
“It’s only about a foot high and it captures the runoff coming down the hillside,” Watershed Protection Department engineer Charlie Kaough said, pointing to an earthen berm he built. “Our goal here was to stop the erosion…Every time it rained, all the soil that was being carried by the storm water was being carried into a neighboring creek.”
Kaough and his team built strategically-placed, yet subtle, mounds and hills to redirect flood waters from heavy rain. “I know where that water’s going to come out and where it’s going to go next. I want my work to be invisible.”
And even though the project has forced the closure of half of the disc golf course, Trask is staying positive. “I think it’s great. We look forward to it being finished and it’s not an inconvenience at all, we just play nine holes twice.”
City officials say they plan to reopen the south nine holes and begin renovations on the other half this fall. The entire project should be done next spring.
The money used in these renovations comes from the Capital Improvements Project Fund. That’s an account fed by your tax dollars. The fund was also used to fix a similar erosion issue in the back lot of Barton Springs Pool recently. Engineers there built dirt embankments to stop dirt from the previously-unpaved parking lot from flowing into Barton Springs Pool.