After ongoing discussion about how to shape a 132-acre site in Boulder, city officials say they have finally decided to use of a portion of it to create a recreational park geared towards cycling.
The Valmont Bike Park is being developed through a partnership between Boulder Mountainbike Alliance, The City of Boulder Parks and Recreation and the International Mountain Biking Association.
Boulder community input had a major influence on the idea to develop a bike park, said Paul Bousquet, communications and marketing manager for the City of Boulder Park and Recreation Department.
Located north of Valmont Road, the 40-acre bike park will be available to all ages and abilities, said Mark Eller, communications director for the International Mountain Biking Association.
“It’ll have trails for both beginners and experts,” Eller said. “There will be skills parks for technical training, cycle cross riding, gravity riding and dual slalom.”
Eller added that the bike park is currently under construction and will be expected to open to the public in spring 2010.
“Ever since we acquired the land in the mid-1990s, we kept thinking, ‘How do we want to shape this park?’ and then we just asked the community,” Bousquet said. “Once we generated enough money through our funding mechanisms, we began to design the park the way the community wanted it.”
Clare Topper, a 19-year-old sophomore marketing major, said she is looking forward to the grand opening of the park.
“I’m not even much of a mountain biker but this bike park sounds pretty awesome,” Topper said. “Boulder needs a park like this.”
With 92 acres of the site left to develop, Bousquet said that the 40-acre bike park is just phase one of the project.
“Now the bike park is the major phase,” Bousquet said. “If you do the math, the additional acres will be developed in the future.”
“It really takes a lot of constant involvement to get a project on line like this,” Eller said.
Bousquet said he felt the creation of the project would not be possible without the collaborative effort.
“We are the landowners, the park designers and the park developers but we were able to get one of the largest grants with the help of BMA,” Bousquet said. “So from fundraising to programming, we really are a multi-faceted partnership.”
Bousquet explained that the total cost of the project is expected to be between $3 million and $4 million. Funding for the park came mainly from sales tax, Bousquet said.
“Say you buy a fleece from Patagonia; part of the sales tax from that fleece goes to capital improvement funding,” Bousquet said. “That CIP money accumulates which allows us to renovate or improve park facilities.”
Along with sales tax, fundraising had a central role in the funding of the project as well.
“We had very strong grassroots fundraising efforts from BMA,” Eller said. “There was a widespread array of funders.”
According to Bousquet, the largest grant received was $2,000 from Great Outdoors Colorado. The Bicycle Industry and the Gates Family Foundation gave major donations as well.
For those interested in making a contribution to the Valmont Bike Park, Valmont City Park is accepting donations. A matching grant will be available from the Gates Family Foundation up until Dec. 1, Eller said.
“It’s a good incentive for anyone looking to donate to the park over the upcoming weeks,” Eller said.
Visit the Valmont Bike Park Web site for more information on how to make a donation.
Contact CU Independent Staff Writer Kylie Horner at Kylie.firstname.lastname@example.org.