A long-requested park is on the way to Grapevine, but not without another popular park taking a hit.
The Grapevine City Council voted to create 2 new dog parks in town; their first in the city.
Parks and Rec Director Kevin Mitchell said it was one of the top requests on their yearly citizen survey, bested only by more trails in the city, and planning is underway to add parks in the north and south portions of town.
For the southern park, Mitchell said Bear Creek Park between Highway 121 and 360 was selected as the best possible location due to special needs and things like drainage; much of the surrounding open land is owned by private groups.
The problem is: Bear Creek is already home to a popular disc golf course.
Players on the 18 hole, 20 year-old course said it is one of the premier disc golfing locations in the DFW area and hosts weekly tournaments that are well attended as well as regular charity events.
In order to make that dog park, the disc golf course will have to be partially removed.
Mitchell said they are still working out the designs but hope to retain 9 holes of disc golf, however that could change.
Several disc golfers on the course said that would be a major hit there.
“It was disappointing,” said disc golfer Shane Anderson.
Mitchell said the city has nothing against disc golfing, but that the dog park is just the current need at Bear Creek as indicated by large citizen support at planning meetings.
"Rec will continue to change recreation, and it means something different to everyone; that's the beauty of it,” said Mitchell.
He said a big factor in the discussion is simply the community.
Many of the disc golfers we spoke to admittedly are not from Grapevine and said the park does tend to get heavy use from players coming from surrounding cities.
Mitchell said the disc golf course is free to use and, with few businesses in the area, isn’t a big economic driver. In this case, the city has to put the wants of the taxpayers first which seems to be the dog park.
However, city leaders said they would be open to creating more disc golfing opportunities in the future if the citizens showed interest.
So players hope to drive fans in the area to get active and support their sport.
"We need people in the City of Grapevine to go to the council and let them know, hey, we still want disc golf in this community,” said Anderson.
A lot of North Texas communities have been adding dog parks to their offerings in recent years, and loss of other amenities to make space is not new.
Mitchell said one new dog park in the area required the loss of a traditional gold course, and even their plans for the 2nd dog park in the northern portion of town will require the loss of a boat ramp; which the city does currently make money from.
The city is still finalizing plans for the new parks and Mitchell said the dog parks likely will not be up and running until spring or summer of 2017 at the soonest.
Meanwhile, disc golfers and fans of the current park setup have started an online petition to get their community more active in preserving local disc golf parks.
Anderson and other disc advocates said the city has been very good about working with them throughout this process and they plan to continue discussions with them; even though the loss of much of their park does seem certain.