by Bethany Priest, Public Relations Writer
While Cedarville University professor of environmental science Dr. Mark Gathany spends his days educating future scientists on environmental ethics and biogeography, he has shared his passion for the outdoors with the greater community through his love of disc golf.
On Thursday, May 24, Greene County Parks & Trails (GCP&T) will host a grand opening to celebrate the completion of the Karohl Park Disc Golf course in Beavercreek, Ohio, which Gathany designed.
Gathany played disc golf for the first time in college, but years later, after moving to Cedarville, he developed a love for the sport during a day of disc golf with friends. His love for the outdoors and his passion for disc golf sparked the development of a local course.
“I wanted to design a fun, fair and challenging course that people could enjoy with their kids, but a competitive player would enjoy as well,” Gathany said. Gathany approached GCP&T in 2012 and proposed his course design. Karohl Park was selected as the site.
“Mark is the designer of the entire course,” said Gretchen Rives, public relations and marketing manager for GCP&T. “The project couldn’t have moved forward without his expertise and passion.”
In 2014, the course opened with temporary baskets and tees for a disc golf tournament. Since its soft opening in 2016, when the permanent baskets went in the ground, the course has been open from sunrise to sunset, seven days a week. The 2018 grand opening will see the 18-hole course completed with improvements made to the park’s historical farm, expansion of the parking lot, bridges built over wet areas and the addition of concrete tee pads that mark the start of each hole.
During the grand opening, there will be disc golf demonstrations, a disc giveaway from GCP&T and refreshments.
In addition to designing the Karohl Park course in Beavercreek, Gathany also helped design the 18-hole course for Cedarville University, and the course at Greeneview High School in Jamestown, Ohio.
Located in southwest Ohio, Cedarville University is an accredited, Christ-centered, Baptist institution with an enrollment of 3,963 undergraduate, graduate, and online students in more than 150 areas of study. Founded in 1887, Cedarville is recognized nationally for its authentic Christian community, rigorous academic programs, strong graduation and retention rates, accredited professional and health science offerings, and leading student satisfaction ratings. For more information about the University, visit www.cedarville.edu.