There's something happening in the woods beside Brennan Park Recreation Centre.
After a year in the making, shrubbery is cleared and the community's first mountain bike skills park is taking shape thanks to community support and hundreds of hours of volunteer work by members of the Squamish Off-Road Cycling Association (SORCA).
“We thought Brennan Park is really the central hub for recreation and we wanted to keep that,” SORCA president Jeff Cooke said.
District of Squamish officials granted the association a lease agreement and $20,000 grant to design and build the park. The facility, which sits adjacent to the skate park and parking lot, is anticipated to be complete by the Thanksgiving long weekend. Once it's built, SORCA will maintain the facility.
The area lends itself to such a park, allowing easy access to children and parents, Cooke said.
“When kids are young, they don't have the stamina to climb up to the trails,” he said.
The park targets youth ages five to 15 and facilitates an entry point into the sport. Squamish trail builder Chris Hamilton is drafting the layout. In 2011, he pushed for a slice of the district's $750,000 Squamish Sport Legacy Fund to create the mountain bike training ground, a motion that was not backed by the council of the day.
“A lot of communities have these bike parks,” Cooke said. “So we are a little bit behind.”
The skills park will be accompanied by $20,000 worth of municipal infrastructure, such as water mains and picnic tables, district spokesperson Christina Moore said. Once it's open, the facility will be incorporated into the rec centre's programming.
The project has received significant donations of time and equipment from community members, Moore said. SORCA is seeking crushed gravel, fencing materials and large granite stones to serve as seating.
Anyone willing to donate these materials or time to install them can contact email@example.com.
“The park will help develop the next generation of riders,” Cooke said.