The grand opening of St. Charles County’s newest park was not without some less-than-serious posturing by the two officials responsible for it.
Ron Chesbrough, president of St. Charles Community College, said the opening of College Meadows Park, an 80-acre park development situated on the campus of St. Charles Community College, offered an occasion to issue a friendly challenge to St. Charles County Executive Steve Ehlmann – a disc golf game that took place on April 24.
At the park’s ribbon cutting event on April 20, Chesbrough quipped: “Anyone who wants to come out and see me grind him into a pulp is welcome.
“We’re playing for lunch so the stakes are high.”
All joking aside, Chesbrough and Ehlmann lauded the collaboration that made the park possible.
Located near the west entrance of the SCC campus at 4601 Mid Rivers Mall Drive in Cottleville, the park features a nine-hole disc golf course and a 10-station outdoor fitness trail that connects with nearby greenways and schools.
Under the agreement, the college retains ownership of the property, and the Parks Department will manage the park through a 20-year renewable lease for up to a maximum term of 60 years. The lease costs the county $20 for the first 20 years. County officials have said that the cost for the park’s equipment and lease is about $30,000 combined.
“We’ll be a good tenant,” Ehlmann told gathered dignitaries, college students and area residents. “I’d like to thank our landlord for letting us come in here and do something that I know will be good for all of our constituents.”
He and other county officials have said the new park may help address a need for park facilities in the middle part of the county and that it addresses a popular request – another disc golf course.
The county has two other disc courses at Quail Ridge and Indian Camp Creek parks.
“It could be 102 degrees out or it could be 40 degrees, people are consistently playing disc golf at our parks,” said Nancy Lee Gomer, marketing coordinator for the parks department.
In fact, Gomer said people were using College Meadow’s disc golf facilities before everything was completed at the new park.
Since 1997, the county’s Parks and Recreation Department has acquired a total of 3,156 acres of land reserved for county parks. This includes the opening of 11 parks, with six reserved for future parkland.