Since its inception in 1995, Järva DiscGolfPark has served as the stage to the biggest Disc Golf events in Europe. To date it has hosted two separate PDGA Majors (Stockholm Open 2012, European Masters 2014) and countless of A-to-C-tier events. Tournaments like Stockholm Disc Golf Open and Järva Open have become household names in the rapidly growing Disc Golf scene of Europe, both running already in their 18th editions. Järva DGP owner and main architect Mats Löf estimates that during its 20 seasons in operation, Järva has hosted over 250 000 visitors from around 30 different nations. The 2014 has been the best ever for Järva, as they've broken all previous records in visitors, proving that Europe's first and finest pay-to-play Disc Golf attraction is more relevant than ever.
Dark clouds over Järva
Ever since 2009 the beautiful Järvafältet has been under a threat of being repossessed by the local government. The plan is to take the apart the Disc Golf course and to build a cemetery in the area that in two decades has been turned into a thriving park area thanks to a lot of hard work and dedication. Considering the state of the area itself during the time it was first rented to Mats & Jonas Löf in 1995, this plan would have been far from reality. Back in mid 1990's the area that now hosts the Järva DGP was considered one of the ugliest areas of Stockholm. Located next to a highway and in close proximity of low-income suburbs of the Stockholm metro area, this was a piece of land nobody wanted. Where most saw an overgrown wasteland on the forgotten backside of Sweden's capital, the Löf brothers saw an opportunity.
Järvafältet originally served as a landfill site and therefore can not be used as a foundation for any bigger construction projects for the foreseeable future. Despite being accused of circumventing democratic process in order to gain control of the Järva area, in a way it's not too hard to see why the people pushing for the cemetery project have their eyes on this piece of property. In 20 years the Löf brothers have turned the unwanted no-mans land into a well manicured and versatile green space unparalleled in the Stockholm area. Undoubtedly using this area instead of other possible candidates would make things a lot easier for the cemetery project - who doesn't like to walk into a readily served table? The fact of the matter is, however, that there are more suitable areas available in Stockholm for this project and ones that don't require destruction of something so many people enjoy.
The time to act is now
We want to save Järva. We hope you feel the same. There's many things you can do to help:
1. Share this article and/or the "Save Järva" video
- Raise awareness within the Disc Golf community and beyond
- Show your support for the preservation of Järva DGP in a form politicians can understand. Every signature counts.
3. Write an email to Stockholm City Planning office
- Let your voice be heard. This is the best way you can help. Share your thoughts and possible experiences of the Järva DiscGolfPark and explain why you think the area should be reserved for the living instead of the dead. Send an email to stadsbyggnadskontoret[at]stockholm.se by December 16th. Enter registration number (diarienummer) 2006-16107.
Towards a brighter future
Järva DGP is an important practise and recreation destination for most Disc Golfers in the Stockholm area and far beyond. The rapidly growing sport of Disc Golf attracts men and women of all ages and people from various social and economical backgrounds with its social, yet competitive nature. With many of the North European countries struggling with social issues like young people feeling alienated from society and obesity hitting the population worse year after year, low entry-level lifetime sports like Disc Golf that provide exercise and a chance to meet new people should be celebrated by the local governments, not frowned upon. Let's make our voices be heard and ensure that Järva DGP serves the local and international community for at least another 20 years.