Pre's sister against disc golf near namesake trail

Pre's sister against disc golf near namesake trail »Play Video

EUGENE, Ore. - Every day hundreds of runners and walkers head to Alton Baker Park to enjoy Pre's Trail.

But Steve Prefontaine's sister Neta Prefontaine said it won't be enjoyable for long if a new disc golf course goes in.

"I think it's a great sport, and I think everyone should play it, but not on our trail," she said. "It's just going to disrupt this beautiful atmosphere out here."

The proposed 18-hole course would all around where the trail is right now.

"We looked over the entire system and really the only place that could accommodate it currently is Alton Baker," said Philip Richardson, Landcape Architect with the City of Eugene Parks and Open Spaces Division.
    
"I'm a little worried that that will change the entire atmosphere and that this portion of the park will end up being a disc golf course that happens to have a trail running through it," said Tom Jordan with the Oregon Track Club.

The city said they've worked to accommodate both runners, walkers and disc golf players. But Prefontaine isn't so sure.
    
"I want the city to think about what they're trying to do here," she said.
 
Walkers and runners on the trail Sunday had mixed reaction to the proposed course.

"I personally don't have a problem with it," said runner Tim Odell. "I used to jog on the Westmoreland Trail that has disc golf and occasionally someone will walk across the trail or a disc would come sailing across the trail and it never bothered me at all."

Others are skeptical.

"You know I do have some concerns about getting frisbees thrown across the trail while people are trying to run," said runner Josh Marean.

As long as the proposal's on the table, Prefontaine said she won't back down.

"We will be here, we're watchdogs and we will not watch somebody come in and destroy the memorial trail," she said.

The city said they could make a final decision on the whether to move forward with the course by September.