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Hope remains for Fort Ridgely golf course

FAIRFAX -- The golf course at Fort Ridgely State Park remains intact with its closing for the season Sept. 6. The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has agreed to routine shutdown procedures for the golf course at the urging of area legisl...

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FAIRFAX -- The golf course at Fort Ridgely State Park remains intact with its closing for the season Sept. 6.

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has agreed to routine shutdown procedures for the golf course at the urging of area legislators and the Friends of Fort Ridgely, the citizens group announced Friday.

The DNR had announced plans March 21 to close the course permanently. The DNR has subsequently created a citizens advisory committee to examine the options for the course and park.

Supporters of the course stated that they were pleased with the agreement to proceed with routine shutdown. That will allow time for alternatives to closing the course to be explored, the group stated in a news release.

“The Friends of Fort Ridgely have stated that such an impactful decision should proceed at a slower and reasoned pace and allow input from rural Minnesotans and users of Fort Ridgely.”

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Several regional entities have begun meeting to explore the creation of a working group to operate the course in 2017. Representatives from the city of Fairfax, Nicollet and Renville counties, and Mayflower Golf Club have been taken part and others may join.

The golf course will celebrate its 90th anniversary in 2017. Sand greens were replaced with artificial turf greens in 1990. Ten years ago, a successful $2.1 million renovation was completed converting the course to grass greens. Over a thousand people have signed a petition to keep the course open at ipetitions.com.

A citizens advisory committee is currently meeting under the auspices of the DNR to consider future uses of Fort Ridgley State Park.  That group will be meeting at the New Ulm Civic Center today and Sept. 29.  Both those meetings are at 6 p.m. and are open to the public.

Related Topics: GOLF
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