BERGEN — One of the priorities of the village of Bergen’s Parks Master Plan was to find ways to increase usage of the village’s parks, especially Hartland Park.
“Hartland Park is almost nine acres, which was not being used except for the sledding hill in winter,” said Village Administrator Cortney Gale. “But we still had to maintain it all year.”
Researching their options, they discovered disc golf was the fastest-growing sport in America, and there was no public course in Genesee County. Furthermore, they already had a disc golf player, Doug McIver, mowing for them in the summer, and he agreed to lay out the nine-hole course.
Mayor Anna Marie Barclay said employees from the village’s Department of Public Works went to work to clean up Hartland Park, removing brush and undergrowth and mulching under the trees. Three new bridges were constructed over Minnie Creek.
“Part of our goal is to bring people into our village, and hopefully they will visit our businesses while they’re here,” Barclay said.
On Oct. 10, the Village of Bergen will celebrate the improvements at Hartland Park with a grand opening disc golf tournament.
Registration is due by Oct. 5 and cost is $40 for professionals and $25 for amateurs.
Every entrant will receive a tote bag with a disc, towel and disc ball marker made by the mayor’s husband David and stamped with the village’s logo.
“And because we are an electric company, we are including an LED lightbulb,” Barclay said.
Prizes will be awarded for first, second and third in both the professional and amateur divisions. Golfers may also pay an additional dollar to join pools for a “hole in one,” or “closest to the pin.”
Entrants must sign in by 8:30 a.m., with the tournament beginning at 9:30 a.m. The tournament is an 18-hole event, meaning they will play the course up and back.
Disc golf is played with Frisbee-type discs, which come in different sizes and weights, equal to putters and drivers in traditional golf, Barclay said.
The village is still accepting hole sponsorships. For information call (585) 494-1513. More information is also available online at www.villageofbergen.com.
Coinciding with the disc golf tournament will be an afternoon and evening of activities by Bergen Family Shenanigans, who will have their annual autumn festival beginning at 1 p.m.
The event will include contests, family game night, arts and crafts, sports, a farmer’s market and festival, all in Hartland and Hickory parks. A movie at night and campfire will conclude the event, and those who wish may pitch their tents and spend the night.
Pre-registration is required to spend the night, by visiting www.bergenfamilyshenanigans.org.