Community

18-hole disc golf course opening at Coralville's new Altmaier Family Park

City's newest park was previously a family farm

Elaine Altmaier Haddy primes a shed in preparation for the upcoming grand opening at the Altmaier Family Park in Coralville on Friday, Sept. 28, 2018. Altmaier Haddy grew up on the farm and has joined Coralville Parks and Recreation workers in preparations for the opening. (Liz Martin/The Gazette)
Elaine Altmaier Haddy primes a shed in preparation for the upcoming grand opening at the Altmaier Family Park in Coralville on Friday, Sept. 28, 2018. Altmaier Haddy grew up on the farm and has joined Coralville Parks and Recreation workers in preparations for the opening. (Liz Martin/The Gazette)
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CORALVILLE — The latest crop to spring up on the Altmaier Family Farm is a disc golf course.

This weekend, the city of Coralville will debut its newest city park, the Altmaier Family Park, on the site of a former farm at 3444 Deer Creek Road. The 22-acre plat of land, complete with an 18-hole disc golf course and yard games, will open with a public ribbon-cutting event from 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday.

“It’s just a really picturesque piece of property as well as a family farm,” said Sherri Proud, Coralville Parks and Recreation director. “We’re trying to hold onto that look of a family farm while turning it into a park that everyone can enjoy.”

The city took over the land in 2017 and began construction of the park, which has totaled about $35,000 so far. City staff first became interested in the property because it’s connected to the Clear Creek Greenbelt and they wanted to protect that watershed.

When it came to determining the use of the new park, the Parks and Recreation Department had a wish list of future amenities to include in the city’s park system that included a disc golf course. After talking with the City Council and the Parks and Recreation Commission, staff determined the Altmaier Family Park would be well-suited for disc golf.

“The first time that I walked that property, it just popped into my mind, (it) was like ‘Oh my gosh, this would be just a beautiful disc golf course,’” Proud said.

Coralville’s new course joins a number of others around Iowa City, such as Peninsula Disc Golf Course and Wetherby Disc Golf Course. Proud said this course will be more easily accessed than courses in areas like Lake Macbride or the Coralville Reservoir.

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“What we were hearing from the disc golf community is there is room for more,” Proud said. “It’s definitely an up and coming sport. It’s been around for a while, so we know it’s just not a fad.”

Proud said the first disc golf tournament is scheduled for Oct. 14 but Coralville wants to find a balance between hosting tournaments and keeping the course open for the public.

The city has decided to preserve a number of the farm’s buildings. The former hog barn is used as a maintenance shed, and staff are working toward a plan for restoration of the main barn.

Additionally, workers installed permanent gaming boards to play bags — sometimes called cornhole. Staff are also planning to convert the barnyard area into a family picnic and games area, which will include bocce ball and horseshoes.

Next year, workers will likely install an archery range as well.

“We kind of keep track of what are people asking for, which gives us a really good pulse of what’s hot, what’s popular, what are people asking for year after year,” Proud said.

For residents interested in Sunday’s open house event, attendees can expect opening remarks, hiking tours and the option to choose tee times for the disc golf course.

l Comments: (319) 339-3172; maddy.arnold@thegazette.com

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