Sometimes what I plan on being a 30 second response turns into a dissertation, am I alone? I bet I'm not.
Public response to activity on a disc golf course varies greatly on the state of the park prior to the installation of the course and the economic/crime state of the surrounding areas. Duh. I found it interesting enough to provide examples of both ends of the socio-economic spectrum here in Maryland.
I really enjoyed reading the stories in this thread where disc golf has helped improve improve the quality of park activity. There are two solid examples of this happening in Maryland:
Druid Hill DGC - Baltimore, MD (My home course)
The park is located in a very low income section of the city and the area where the course is used to be a hangout for hard drugs, prostitution, gang activity, illegal dumping and public sex. In the early days of the course (mid 80s), I am told it was difficult to play a round without coming across a needle or spent condom. I've been playing there for 6+ years now and while it's not completely free of undesirable activity, we feel safe enough to play glow and have yet to have a serious incident at the park. While disc golfers do tend to break certain substance laws, it seems the city and police are glad to have us as they have installed large recycling containers empty bottles & cans and are interested in expanding the course.
Schumaker Pond - Salisbury, MD
I am told the area where this course is located was less than desirable when it was installed and the city of Salisbury continues to battle crime issues. Over the handful of times I have played the course, I have noticed absolutely no suspicious activity in the park. What I have noticed was a wide variety of people, including children, enjoying the park by playing disc golf, fishing, walking, using the playground equipment, etc. I've heard no complaint of activity on the course from authorities or neighboring areas.
Rockburn Branch DGC - Columbia, MD
This course was installed in a mostly unused area of a park in one of the richest counties in the nation (Howard County). Crime At the time the course was installed (1999), the DGC was lightly used by golfers or otherwise and was generally left alone by any the county / police. Since the installation of the course park use has increased significantly and while disc golf use has steadily increased, other activities (biking, basketball, volleyball, jogging, etc.) have increased at a much greater rate. Certain sections of the course are under constant threat of being removed to make room for other activities and disc golfers bear most of the cost/labor of maintaining the course all while a mega $130,000* bike facility was built on another segment of the park. The course has also been regularly patrolled by both park officials and police lately.
It would be interesting to know what the park mentioned in the OP looked like regarding undesirable activity before the park went in. Of the courses mentioned above, I assume the story of the OP park is more akin to Rockburn Branch than Druid Hill or Schumaker. I couldn't imagine anyone caring about profanity or a little "soft drug" usage at Druid Hill because of how much the simple presence of disc golfers has improved the park. I can also see why the wealthy Howard County isn't particularly interested in putting any time or money into disc golf when all they know about the sport is that it brings a bunch of littering** hippies, and takes up a bunch of land that higher class citizens could be using. What does this mean for the OP or the future state of disc golf? I dunno but I found it interesting food for thought.
*Note - Much of this money was generated by non-profit group MORE (Mid-Atlantic Off Road Enthusiasts). MORE is a well organized group representing thousands of mountain bikers in the Mid-Atlantic. Disc golf needs more groups like this to get things done, bottom line, but that's a whole different rant.
**Note - The litter here is mostly empty beer containers and is everywhere despite anti-litter signage, I see much more litter at Rockburn than any other course in the state. The litter is not being generated by the golfers who participate in weekly events or tournaments; I know because we all clean up a ton of litter when we play. My hypothesis is that the litterers are mostly underage kids looking for a place to drink. They don't care about the future of disc golf at Rockburn and want to decrease their chances of being caught drinking by ditching the evidence.
-Find the Others-