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From the moment Kettering University students step on campus, they are making a difference in the Flint community. A recent project will also help them take back a closed golf course and bring entertainment to students and residents.
Kettering students have played an integral part in creating an 18-hole disc golf course throughout the Mott Park Golf Course, which has not been in use since 2009.
For Katherine Cheyne ‘22, she spent her third day as a Kettering student volunteering during a Service Saturday event helping create the the disc golf course, scheduled to be completed by end of this fall.
“I think it’s really cool to help with this project. Everyone wants to make that sort of an impact.
When you’re a freshmen in college you might not think you can make that much of a difference but seeing all the small things come together was exciting,” Cheyne said. “Just walking around, seeing the disc golf course coming together was really cool. Being able to see something change was important. And it was a great way to bring something fun to the community.”
During the Service Saturday, students shoveled away grass where each hole and basket would go, digging out the rest of the dirt until each was six inches deep. During a separate work day, students helped pour concrete and get the course ready to use.
The newly announced Mott Park Recreation Area Disc Golf Course has been in the works for a few years. After the Mott Park Golf Course was closed in 2009, a re-purposing of the site was on the minds of residents. With the assistance of the Mott Park Recreation Area committee, a number of visioning meetings were held on Kettering's campus, the outcome being a three phase plan that includes a disc golf course, free to the community, said Jack Stock, director of External Relations at Kettering.
The renovations of the disc golf course, located just north of Kettering’s campus along the University Avenue Corridor, was made possible thanks to grant dollars Kettering received from the Michigan Youth Violence Prevention Center with a focus on Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design.
So far over 60 Kettering students have been involved in the disc golf course renovation, along with a partnership with the University Avenue Corridor Coalition.
Members of Kettering’s Theta Xi, whose house is across the street from the Mott Park Golf Course, are excited to help bring new life to the park. For the group, this disc golf course has a special meaning, as they remember a former Kettering student and Theta Xi member, Chandler Anschutz, who passed away in 2015 and was an avid player in Kettering’s disc golf league.
“Everybody in the house has quite a bit of drive to help with this new project. It’s personal for us,” said Ethan Holper ‘20. “A big part of being in Theta Xi is improving your community. Having something like this can be nothing but nice for the community. It’s a nice place to relax and have a good time. A disc golf course like this is a good way to bring people together.”
Holper hopes this new course will allow the community to come together for something fun. Theta Xi members are excited and grateful to be a part of the creation.
“We try to live by different purposes - responsibility to chapter, college, community and country,” he said. “There is a big emphasis on serving those around you and being there for your community because this is where you live. It makes you a better person if you are serving those around you and making the world a better place.”
By taking time out of class work students are helping not only create this disc golf course but also beautify the city by helping with painting buildings, cleaning up trash and blight removal. The disc golf course takes something that wasn’t being used and brings an extra form of entertainment to students, families and residents.
“Student support is critical as a resource for labor, but more importantly as a long-term user of the facility. While helping build the course provides a special connection with today's students, it also builds a legacy of community-based activities for Kettering students for generations to come,” Stock said. “Students that choose Kettering are being prepared for ‘extraordinary lives of leadership and service,’ according to Kettering's mission. Freshman orientation and Service Saturdays model the lifelong behavior we hope to instill in our students. It is about civic responsibility and leading by example.”