PRESTON – The towns of Fillmore County have never been considered a disc golf destination – until now. Thanks to a grant of $4,500 from the

Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation

the Preston Lions Club is building a 27-hole disc golf course at Preston City Park.

Andrew Bisek, President of the Preston Lions Club, said: “We wanted to create a challenging disc golf course, but also a course for beginners. We want to make this city a disc golf destination with this course.

The SMIF grant covers just under a quarter of the funds for the project, which would cost the Preston Lions Club $20,000 according to Bisek. The project also receives two $1,000 sponsorships from local businesses, including Root River 102 Wine Bar in Lanesboro and Jailhouse Inn Bed and Breakfast in Preston.

Tim Penny, president and CEO of SMIF, said several factors go into the selection process for these grants.

“Grants range in size from a few thousand dollars to $10,000, and determinations are based on a variety of factors,” Penny said. “These include the amount of local money that can be raised for certain aspects of their needs, as well as documentation of collaboration within the community, to show that they bring together various groups within the community. around a project that matters for the future of the city.

The 27-hole course will easily surpass Fillmore County’s two other disc golf courses in Harmony and Spring Valley as the largest in the county. The Harmony and Spring Valley disc golf courses are only nine holes each.

The course is constructed as two separate paths, one for an 18-hole course running through Preston City Park and the other a nine-hole course connecting to the trailhead at Preston Park. Bisek and other Lions Club members have already completed the first half of the 18-hole course at Preston City Park.

“We hope to complete the other nine by the pool to the trailhead in October and have it all finished next spring,” Bisek said.

With the ongoing construction of this disc golf course, Preston residents and disc golf enthusiasts can play on the nine holes that have already been completed. The nine holes run from the entrance to Preston City Park to the City Pool.

Funding for these grants is sponsored by an inherited gift from the Paul Johnson family.

Penny said Johnson has a passion for investing in rural communities.

“The Paul Johnson family matches the grants we give in this category. So this is a person now deceased, unfortunately, who really believed in small towns in Minnesota and was attracted by the fact that we have an annual grant program for small towns. So her contributions allow us to reach more communities for years to come,” Penny said.