The Windy City Adds First Ever Dedicated Bike Park

 

                                      

Sitting atop land that had been undeveloped for many years, a wooded area once thought of as a hotbed of gang activity and other illegal activities, The Garden is a community project built by Chicagoland BMX/Mountain Bikers, and the Chicago Park District.  Grand opening 7-31, details inside.

As one of the few wooded areas close to downtown without specific zoning, local riders had attempted to use the land for recreational use with little to no success for nearly a decade.  In the fall of 2008, the Chicago Park District had announced plans to plow the land which prompted action by a group of individuals interested in putting the land to good use.

                

Led by Tim Hovey, Daniel Peter, and Jeremy Kawka, a group of local riders began to attend Park District meetings and crafted a proposal for the land.  Delighted with their proposal, the Park District allowed initial construction of the bike park under careful watch during the summer of 2009.  With shovels, wheelbarrows, piles of dirt (graciously donated by Lake Street Landscaping Supply), a chainsaw or two, and hard work, the riders not only built their bike trails, they also built fence-lined pedestrian walkways for nearby residents.  On top of that, they worked alongside the Park District to clean the area of broken glass and assorted trash.

                                   The Garden Workday by starart.  

As the area began to take shape, the seriousness of these riders, backed by CAMBr West, convinced the Park District to accept The Garden proposal and in the Spring of 2010, this land has been sanctioned as Chicago’s first-ever bike park!

The Garden Crew and CAMBr West are throwing an event named “Settin’ Down Roots: The Garden Dirt Jam” – a celebration of everybody’s, from-the-ground-up, hard work and the park’s recent legal status.

The event, starting at noon on July 31st, will include a race, a huge raffle, local vendors, music, the best riders in Chicago (possible appearance of a pro or two), and other events for the entire family.  All proceeds will go to CAMBr’s continued efforts to bring safe, fun riding opportunities to the Chicagoland community.  Go to gardendirtjam.cambr.org to sign up and get more info.

Check it out here: thegardenjumps.com

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