Capital City Disc Golf President Daniel Schoonover is spearheading a project to bring improvements to the disc golf course at Keizer Rapids Park.(Matt Rawlings/Keizertimes)

Since its inception in 2009, the disc golf course at Keizer Rapids Park has been considered a crown jewel by those in the Salem-Keizer disc golf community. However, members of Capital City Disc Golf Club felt that the course could use some upgrades.

“This is a great property. It's probably the best disc golf course within 30 minutes from here. But some of our members had been asking about making improvements to the course and getting more involved here,” said club president Daniel Schoonover.

After moving their weekly league out to Keizer Rapids Park this summer, Capital City Disc Golf, a nonprofit organization in Salem, decided to put together a fundraiser to make improvements to the course.

Along with upgrades to tee boxes and the installation of a couple benches, the main task for Schoonover was to raise enough money to replace all 18 baskets, plus a practice basket, with all-new, championship level baskets from Innova Disc Golf.

The club projected that they would need to raise $11,000, and as of press time, they were less than $1,000 from reaching that goal — Schoonover said that most of the funds have been raised by members.

“It's great that our members have been committed to this project and have been willing to donate and raise money,” Schoonover said.

Capital City Disc Golf has received generous donations from local businesses such as Chadwick Construction, Walsh and Associates and Rick Day with Focus Consulting LLC. They also received a $2,500 grant from the Keizer Parks Advisory Board.

The work for this project officially began in February when a multitude of volunteers spent several months clearing debris and making course repairs from damage that was caused by the ice storm that hit Keizer in February.

“After the ice storm, we noticed a lot of work needed to be done out here,” Schoonover said. “We had to clear a lot of branches and fallen trees. The storm also really damaged some of the baskets and the tee boxes.”

Schoonover estimated that between 150-170 man hours went into cleaning and repairs from the ice storm.

“We have done a lot of work on the weekends,” Schoonover said.

The project is slated to be completed in November and also features 34 different basket locations, allowing participants to change where the basket is located on a specific hole.

“I am really excited to see this come to fruition. It's great for the club, but I want it to be great for everyone,” Schoonover said. “I am hoping the improvements will introduce disc golf to more people in the community.”

The city owns the current baskets, but agreed to donate them to Capital City Disc Golf. The club is hoping to repurpose the baskets in the near-future to create a family-style pitch-and-putt course in an unused portion of Keizer Rapids Park that will feature holes that are shorter in length.

“They won't have 300- and 400-foot bombers. It will basically have 125- to 200-foot type of shots, something my eight-year-old daughter could do,” Schoonover said.

This story was originally published in Keizertimes and is reprinted with permission.