BELDING — Cody Moore is best remembered by his friends and family as an outdoorsman who loved working and playing in the surroundings of Mother Nature.
A Belding High School graduate, landscaper and friend to many, Moore died unexpectedly on June 9 at the age of 25.
At Tuesday night’s Belding City Council meeting, Keven Krieger, a friend of Moore, asked council members to vote on the approval of a disc golf course to be located at Lightning Bend Park, which would be dedicated in Moore’s honor.
In a unanimous 4-0 vote, council members approved “Smash Park,” the future disc golf course named in honor of Moore. Councilman Mike Scheid was absent from the meeting.
“He loved to be outdoors, that’s where he wanted to be all the time,” said Krieger of Moore. “When you couldn’t find him at a friend’s house, he was generally at Lightning Bend out in the field throwing discs. We thought that this is just appropriate to put the (disc golf park) there.”
The course will be installed at Lightning Bend Park in the early spring with funds gathered by Krieger and other friends and family of Moore. Approximately $4,100 has already been raised to purchase baskets and a memorial plaque for the course.
“Of the more than 20 nicknames that he had, Cody “Smash” Moore was the one that stuck,” Krieger said. “When we were trying to come up with a name for the disc golf course, it was obvious that ‘Smash Park’ was the way to go.”
The course, which will be free to the public to play, will consist of nine holes placed throughout the wooded park, but depending on the park’s success the possibility to expand to 18 holes is available.
According to Krieger, a course has been mapped out that will not conflict with the mountain bike and cross country trails that currently exist in the park.
“We would like to take a portion of Lightning Bend Park, starting in the west corner of the parking lot, and head directly south, wrapping back around to the parking lot,” he said. “With this there will be some clearing of scrub brush and some small trees, but our main goal is to keep the environment as unharmed as possible.”
Currently, the closest disc golf courses are at the Greenville Area Community Center, a nine-hole course, and at Fallasburg Park in Lowell, an 18-hole course.
Krieger said he hopes to make Smash Park a challenging course to intrigue disc golfers from across the state to want to come to Belding and play the course.
“There is a professional disc golfers association and they put on tournaments all the time and the sport is growing exponentially,” he said. “For something that is free to do and great exercise, that’s a great reason to want to bring people into town.”
Councilwoman Andrea Belding said the Recreation Board discussed the addition of a disc golf course to Lightning Bend Park and recently surveyed the area during a visit to the park.
“The recreation board is very supportive of the project and they discussed it at length,” she said. “I think it’s a good use of the property and a nice way to honor Cody. It’s nice to see you move forward with the project.”
Mayor Ron Gunderson applauded Krieger’s and everyone else’s fundraising efforts to build the course, citing difficult financial times for everyone.
Krieger said he couldn’t think of a better way to honor Moore than a disc golf course that everyone can enjoy on a daily basis.
“Cody just loved to be outdoors, that’s where he wanted to be at all times,” he said. “He was a very modest human being and very loved by his friends and family. Just to see the overwhelming support for Smash Park, to see so much love, it’s just incredible.”