With the wellbeing of the community and staff as the primary focus, Fargo Park District made the difficult decision to limit flood mitigation preparations for Edgewood Public Golf Course this spring. In order to safely follow social distancing recommendations amid heightened concerns surrounding the potential risk of COVID-19, sandbagging efforts will be limited with sandbags already on hand at Edgewood.
Of the five Fargo Public Golf Courses, Edgewood is the only course that is the most susceptible to flooding at this river level. Edgewood begins to be impacted significantly when the river reaches approximately 28 feet, with a majority of the course underwater when the river reaches the 30 foot level.
In a typical year, park district staff and volunteers could protect Edgewood’s bowl area to the current projections with sandbagging efforts. In order to place that many sandbags, a crew of 50 people stand in close contact to pass and place sandbags. The recommendations from the CDC regarding social distancing make these normal practices impossible.
The Fargo Park District staff and board members discussed a number of protective measures against COVID-19 at a special board meeting on March 28. Staff at Edgewood will utilize the 17,000 sandbags already on hand at Edgewood to protect areas of the course up at these river levels. Staff will evaluate the course daily in small groups abiding by COVID-19 guidelines. Staff will make the best efforts to protect the course while utilizing the CDC recommended COVID-19 guidelines for social distancing for the protection of the staff. Edgewood staff is confident that resulting cleanup efforts will be easier for this flood event than in 2019 due to a lower crest prediction and shorter time frame the water is expected to remain on the course. Cleanup efforts will also entail social distancing, but will not pose the same proximity issues as laying sandbags.
At this time, flood waters are not expected to significantly impact any of Fargo’s other four public golf course. Projected open dates are not yet available for Rose Creek, Prairiewood, El Zagal and Osgood Public Golf Courses. When determining opening dates for these courses, Fargo Parks will continue to monitor the situation, work with state and local health officials and will follow recommended guidelines as they become available.