In California, Orange County Parks (OC Parks) has been selected to receive up to $10,000 in assistance through IMBA's Bike Park Initiative to develop new bike facilities at Ted Craig Regional Park, in Fullerton. The facility will also receive a further $10,000 through a matching grant from OC Parks. Along with OC Parks, key partners in this initiative includes local IMBA chapter SHARE-MTB and Jax Bicycle Center, a chain of eight bicycle retail outlets throughout southern California.
“OC Parks is very pleased to continue our collaboration with IMBA on planning and development of biking amenities in Orange County's regional parks with this design effort," said Stacy Blackwood, Director Orange County Parks. "Our community partners, including SHARE Mountain Bike Club, Laguna Canyon Foundation, Irvine Ranch Conservancy, and many others, are engaged with OC Parks in the creation of great biking experiences in our parks and wildlands, balanced with careful stewardship of those natural resources. We anticipate that projects like this will encourage riders of all ages to enjoy healthy activity outdoors and engender a lasting appreciation for the open spaces of Orange County.“
The Bike Park Initiative is an IMBA-led project designed to foster the development of world-class bike park facilities across the United States. Developed in partnership with the SRAM Cycling Fund and People for Bikes, the Bike Park Initiative identifies promising local government agencies and provides them with strategic and technical assistance to create outstanding bike parks, including progressive jump lines, skills areas and pumptracks.
The Bike Park Initiative will provide up to $10,000 in planning and design services, which will be matched by cash from OC Parks. The total of $20,000 will be used to create a detailed site plan and report for the proposed bike park at Ted Craig Regional Park. The funds will also be used to advise the applicant on the unique aspects of constructing and maintaining a bike park, including working with the local mountain bicycling community. The intent of this effort is to get high-quality projects initiated through professional design assistance so that the applicant, in conjunction with IMBA’s advocacy network, can quickly proceed through permitting and toward construction. Ted Craig Regional Park is one of four sites that were assessed by Trail Specialists from the IMBA Trail Solutions program in fall 2013, with OC Parks staff narrowing in on this location for a more detailed design.
“We have been working collaboratively on this project for over 18 months, including meetings with OC Parks staff, Dave Hanson from Jax Bicycle Center, and board members from SHARE-MTB," said Patrick Kell, IMBA Southwest Regional Director. "Dave at Jax Bicycle Center has been pivotal in this process and was the catalyst who initially pulled all of the stakeholders together. Also, OC Parks staff have been very receptive to this concept, and thoughtful in their management of public recreational land, and SHARE-MTB have set a great example of how volunteer mountain bike advocates should work cooperatively with land managers. This process exemplifies quality mountain bike advocacy in action. We are very excited to see this project move forward and see a lot of potential for this and other bike parks within easy reach of such huge populations.”