Only a cross-country and mountain bike resource five years ago, Hayden Park now hosts activities from volleyball to disc golf, and more are on the way.
This year, new additions greet students, whether they are seeking an adventure or a catharsis from study. Hayden’s golf driving range now self-dispenses golf balls. Brad Kocher, the director of recreational sports and athletic facilities, said the golf machine should dispense balls with the swipe of a student ID. For now, however, players can exchange their IDs at the front desk in the student union and receive tokens. One token equals 42 neon balls.
Another change is the disc golf, a game which shares its basics with golf, but is played with a disc. The course was designed by Hillsdale 2012 alumnus Mike Blanchard and for those interested, a disc golf tournament will be held Sept. 23. The only requirement is signing up in the Grewcock Student Union.
Two 100-yard grass fields and a smaller practice field are being installed to the east of Hayden Park’s clubhouse. Coach Bill Lundberg, the Hayden Park fitness director of the park, explained that the plot for the fields has already been raised three feet in the levelling process. He hopes that the fields can be used for club sports, a wish seconded by the director of Campus Rec, Margaret Odell.
Odell explained that the fields will serve the intramural teams, such as flag football and soccer. There is even the hope that the rugby team, which petered out a couple of years ago, will revive now that there is more field space.
“As someone dedicated to getting kids out and active, I think Hayden Park will help tangibly with that,” Odell stated. According to her, the park has helped Campus Rec grow into a larger presence on the Hillsdale campus.
This year’s updates are only a continuation of the improvement of Hayden Park. Odell, whose older siblings attended Hillsdale, mentioned that they did not go to the park.
“There’s definitely been changes,” she said. “For the size of our school, the amenities we have are top-notch, or becoming top-notch.”
Emma McCormick, a junior who started the Outdoor Adventures club, stated likewise: “The longer I’ve been at Hillsdale, the more I’ve come to realize and appreciate the opportunities Hayden Park has to offer.”