River Grove Park’s disc golf course is getting better than ever. Photo by Bruce Olson

The Kingwood Service Association (KSA) Parks Committee unanimously approved a joint-use and maintenance agreement with The River Grove Disk Golf Club (RGDGC) at its July 11 meeting as a result of a request at the June meeting by Scott Campbell and Coleman Witherspoon of the club. It is different from land-lease agreements used with other sports organizations in Kingwood, which assign total construction, ongoing maintenance and rules for use of the athletic fields to the clubs and not KSA.

Dee Price, the committee’s Sand Creek member, met with Campbell and Witherspoon during June and worked out the details.

“We are not proposing restricting the use of the course,” said Price. "That is not what they want. Their objective is to increase disc golf, so they want to encourage people to use it.”

Price said that when the course was originally built, no one had any idea that it would become popular and known as one of the favorite courses for disc golf among over 30 courses in the Houston area. She explained that the agreement establishes a framework to share in the cost of maintenance over and above the normal, general maintenance the open areas of the park usually receive. That extra cost will be shared with the club. The agreement also stipulates how the course will be made available to club members who don’t live in Kingwood. This will create the means for them to use the course without confusion or violation of any River Grove Park restrictions. Highlights of the agreement are:

- RGDGC will pay an annual fee to KSA to cover the maintenance and improvements of the course.

- KSA and the club will work together to maintain the course.

- A unique “RGDGC K-sticker” will be issued annually to paid members of the club who are not already eligible for a standard K-sticker, allowing them to park at River Grove Park.

- Maintenance work includes removing dead trees and replacing missing tee boxes. The course will be mowed once a month during the summer. The arrangement includes adding a KSA standard park bench behind the tee box for holes 5,9,15 and 17. Price said the benches have been installed as Eagle Scout projects in the past and KSA will pursue that possibility, using the Community Service Projects budget.

In other business, committee members approved a request by the KSA Board of Directors for authorization of up to $500,000 to renovate and dredge the River Grove Park shoreline and boardwalk area that runs from the boat ramp and dock along the park’s northeast shoreline for the length of the existing boardwalk. This is an area about 1,000 feet long and a depth of 3-4 feet.

Price said that exact specifications and costs have yet to be determined. She provided a spreadsheet of the estimates and pictures of the area, stating, “These estimates are based on the dredging we did in 2012 and 2013. If we want to go to 4 feet [of depth along the boardwalk], it would cost approximately $491,000. If we went to 3 feet it would cost approximately $391,000.”

That was followed by silence for a few moments, then an open discussion about all aspects of the project, including not doing it at all. Chairman Chris Manthei pointed out that the upper end of the tributary was now connected to the shore and he was not sure if the area opposite the boardwalk was now KSA land or city land or the responsibility of the Army Corps of Engineers. Others wondered if there was a better way to spend the money. Price said this was a request to the KSA Board for authorization of money, but it was not the final decision on how to best proceed or to even proceed at all.

“Technically, we can ask for the appropriation and do some more due diligence and find out all the issues and alternatives,” said Manthei.”

The committee agreed and approved the request for authorization to spend up to $500,000. The decision to spend any of the money, once authorized, will depend on the outcome of the due diligence about the land ownership questions and cost estimates. That decision or any alternative uses will require approval by the committee and possibly by the KSA Board.

The next KSA Parks meeting will be Aug. 1 at 7 p.m. at the South Woodland Hills Community Room, 2030 Shadow Rock Drive, Kingwood. The public is invited to attend.

Bruce Olson
Author: Bruce OlsonEmail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
I have been married since 1970 to Kerry, my best friend and a great Australian woman. I served and survived Vietnam in the U.S. Air Force. I fought forest fires in the summer while in college, where I earned a B.A. in economics from Oklahoma State University and an M.B.A. from the University of Texas. I retired from Continental Airlines. I have a son and two granddaughters in Kingwood, and a daughter and two grandsons on a farm near Mazabuka, Zambia. I am now enjoying life as a grandfather, Tribune correspondent and Humble ISD guest teacher when not traveling to Zambia or Australia.

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