Crowdfunding Campaign Launched for the Buck Buchanan Memorial Disc Golf Course in Marquette

Friday, March 31, 2023

$36,000 goal to win matching grant through MEDC’s Public Spaces Community Places initiative

LANSING, Mich. – Marquette will soon be home to a disc golfer’s paradise with the completion of a course dedicated in honor of a local legend and pioneer in the sport Buck Buchanan. This effort will be completed through the anticipated success of a crowdfunding campaign, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) and local nonprofit UP Disc Golf Association (UPDGA) announced today. The campaign is being offered through the Michigan-based crowdfunding platform Patronicity.

If the campaign reaches its crowdfunding goal of $36,000 by May 30, the project will win a matching grant with funds made possible by MEDC’s Public Spaces Community Places program. For project details and to donate, please visit:

“The Buck Buchanan Memorial Disc Golf Course will create a recreational amenity that will attract people from all over to the region,” said MEDC Executive Vice President of Economic Development Incentives Michele Wildman. “We are pleased to support and provide resources for this project to complete the space through our Public Spaces Community Places program.”

This campaign will complete the development, construction, and installation of a brand new 18-hole championship-level disc golf course on a piece of land across the river from the existing Powder Mill Disc Golf Course and will honor the local legend, Buck Buchanan. The two courses will create the new Dead River Disc Golf Center and create a recreational hub in the region.

The UP Disc Golf Association (UPDGA) has been working since 2012 to continually offer and increase opportunity for public recreation access. The group does this through the development of disc golf courses, hosting leagues, tournaments, events, and being actively involved in teaching and demonstrating disc golf in the local schools. The completed UPDGA courses will provide a variety of different options, challenges, and unique features in balance with showcasing the wonderful existing natural features of the area.

"The PSCP matching grant is an incredible and vital boost to ensuring a successful project. This is an incredible undertaking in which we seek to honor our founding father, Buck Buchanan, in the exact way he'd wish, which is to develop disc sports opportunities for all to enjoy,” said UPDGA President Tim Kopacz. “The support ensures we are able to keep on with our mission to develop disc golf courses for the benefit of others."


Public Spaces Community Places is a collaborative effort of the MEDC, the Michigan Municipal League, and Patronicity, in which local residents can use crowdfunding to be part of the development of strategic projects in their communities and be backed with a matching grant from MEDC. Communities, nonprofits and other business entities can apply at

“The Michigan Municipal League is a strong believer in the importance of building community wealth,” said Dan Gilmartin, CEO and Executive Director of the League. “This disc golf course will have a lasting, positive impact on the Marquette for generations to come. It speaks directly to the public health pillar of community wealth building.”

The Public Spaces Community Places initiative started in 2014 with MEDC providing matched funding of up to $50,000 for community improvement projects throughout Michigan. As of Feb. 28, 2023, MEDC has provided more than $11.2 million in matching grants. Since the launch of the program, 339 projects have been successful in reaching their goal, with nearly $12.9 million raised from 62,339 individual donors. Communities have a 97 percent success rate in achieving their goals and earning matching funds.

About Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC)

The Michigan Economic Development Corporation is the state’s marketing arm and lead advocate for business development, job awareness and community development with the focus on growing Michigan’s economy. For more information on the MEDC and our initiatives, visit For Pure Michigan® tourism information, your trip begins at Join the conversation on: Facebook Instagram LinkedIn, and Twitter.