A new bike skills area in Queen’s Park is ready for action.
After local residents built jump features in a forested area of Queen’s Park in 2020, the city removed the jumps because they weren’t considered suitable for public use and staff were concerned they would negatively impact the ongoing ecological restoration in that part of the park. Parks and rec staff subsequently collaborated with some of the local youths who had built those jumps about the development of a new bike skills park facility in the park.
In July 2021, council approved construction of a new bike skills park facility in an area of the park that’s near the city’s tree nursery and the Centennial Lodge parking lot. The project includes seven bike features that are connected by a gravel path.
“The bike skills area in Queen’s Park is now complete,” said Erika Mashig, the city’s manager of parks and open space planning, design and construction. “The features have been installed, as well as signage regarding trail safety and etiquette.”
Mashig said the project aims to integrate a purpose built-bike park that balances the needs of the biking community – beginners and experts alike. It’s also intended to encourage safe and responsible use of the forest and to respect the ongoing ecological restoration efforts within Queen’s Park.
“As part of the ecological restoration effort for this particular area, additional vegetation has been planted and split-cedar rail fencing has been installed to help protect both existing and newly planted trees and plants,” she said. “The city intends to engage the users of the bike skills Area in future stewardship events to help work on the track, features and with ongoing ecological restoration. Our hope is that we can all work together to keep the bike park in good shape.”
In September, two New West residents urged the city to reconsider its plan to build a bike skills area in Queen’s Park and to seek additional public input before any further development occurs in forested areas in Queen’s Park. Appearing before city council, they said the area is a “gem of a success story” in terms of an ecological restoration in the park.
“I value it like a jewel,” Karl Sturmanis told council. “It’s like a natural world in microcosm that should be regarded as a precious resource.”
Mayor Jonathan Cote told the delegations he felt the proposed bikes skills area struck a balance of protecting a sensitive area and finding a less sensitive area in the park that could be used for an activity that’s growing in demand.