Having been rejected in their request for part of the funding for a mountain bike skills park, riders are now seeking municipal land.
Last year, the Squamish Off-Road Cycling Association (SORCA) failed to secure some of the cash passed to the District of Squamish by the Vancouver Olympic Organizing Committee (VANOC) after the 2010 Winter Olympics. The council of the day passed over the plan in favour of the Callaghan Winter Sports Club’s Sports Legacy Park and an artificial turf field. But mountain bikers haven’t given up, SORCA’s vice president said on Monday (July 30).
“We mainly want to say, ‘Give us the lands and we will go and do it,’” Jeff Cooke said.
SORCA is putting together a proposal, which it recently shared with the district’s director of recreation, Tim Hoskin. The association hopes the information will be considered as part of the Parks and Recreation Master Plan — a district document that will govern the future of sporting facilities and activities in the community.
SORCA aims to present plans to council this fall, Cooke said. The association may ask for $20,000 from the district. That money will be added to approximately $100,000 worth of donated cash and equipment and volunteer hours SORCA estimates it will take to build the facility, he noted.
“As soon as we have the money and go-ahead, we would be able to proceed,” Cooke said, noting the park could take roughly three months to construct.
SORCA would like to build the facility in the wooded lot beside the small skateboard park at the south end of the Brennan Park Recreation Centre’s parking lot. Shrubs would be removed, but the larger trees could stay, Cooke noted.
The focus of the facility would be on youth. It would allow kids to practice without having to drag their parents onto the trails, he said, adding that the DOS could also use the skills park for recreational programming.
“There are a lot of great bike parks all over B.C. now and we are kind of falling behind a bit,” Cooke said.
Sea to Sky MP John Weston is interested in promoting mountain biking in the Sea to Sky Corridor, Cooke said. SORCA has talked shop with him. The association is also applying for federal funding for the project, he said.