Digging up dirt on Bike Park plan
The organizers of an incredibly ambitious plan to bring recreation and tourism to Castlegar are asking you to throw dirt at them.
Well, not at them, per se, but they do want your dirt, to help build up what they intend will become one of the largest bike parks in the West Kootenay region.
“The proposed Bike Park in Castlegar will be a major regional attraction, as it will be the largest bike park in the West Kootenays,” said president of Castlegar Parks and Trails Society Mark Jennings, addressing city council last week. He said the three-acre area set aside in Millennium Park for the bike attraction should see site preparation done as soon as the end of April, with design and construction under way in May.
Jennings outlined the economical, social and environmental benefits of the park, which is identified as a priority in the city’s Millennium Park master plan.
In terms of economic merit, Jennings said, “Castlegar is already becoming a major regional mountain bike destination and this development will entice even more traffic to our community.
“It will also have the spinoff effect of bringing riders who come here for our bike trails into town where they will spend money to purchase food, accommodation and entertainment,” he added. “Additionally, the park will also be a competition space, as the dirt jumping area and pump track will be designed to support competitive activities and special events.”
He also pointed out social benefits including the promotion of healthy lifestyles, a family-friendly environment where families can recreate together, and a place providing young people with an activity that will build confidence and independence.
“The bike park will be developed in an environmentally friendly manner,” he added, speaking to the environmental merit of the project. In accordance with City of Castlegar OCP (Official Community Plan) objectives, the development will retain as many of the trees as possible for the overall aesthetic and ecological value of the park. After construction, disturbed areas outside of the riding area will be vegetated. This development also has a spinoff environmental benefit as it will help promote bike riding as a healthy form of transportation which will reduce are overall carbon footprint.”
This is a multi-phase, multi-year project, with the first phase seeing the completion of the pump track and the progressive dirt jumping area.
For more information or to donate your dirt, check out the society’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/groups/230283820404756/?fref=ts