7 Jun 2016
The Hamilton Ontario Pumptrack
Are pumptracks the future playgounds? The survey at the new Hamilton, Ontario pumptrack says: YES. The response to the Gage Bike Park Pumptrack has been immensely positive and the community that surrounds the park is the reason. The ecstatic community engagement in the beginning stages helped the project get off the ground and in the end dug a little deeper to make it a reality. Its a daunting thing for 3 youths to go to to their city council and ask for a bike park. But in Hamilton's case, this is what sparked the entire project.
Below are the statistics for the first month of the pumptrack's operational use. 103,559 tires rolled over the pumptrack in the first 4 weeks of operation!
Neighbourhood involvement throughout the build process was a real treat for Alpine. Locals had a hand in the craft of the building process and were able to see what it takes to build a pumptrack. This connection garnered a local maintenance program that has made the park what it is. The volunteers have ownership over the park, patch their divits, and generally upkeep their pumptrack.
The city of Hamilton created volunteer maintenance events since the park was built and Ian Girard from Alpine was on hand for every successful maintenance event, creating skill sets with locals, ridership outreach, and general interfacing with curious park users and community members. These volunteer maintenance programs are essential for parks such as Gage, the events teach kids the fundamental ropes of up keeping a trail and in turn create an overall park wellbeing for everyone.
"This park represents a grassroots movement. It really sets an example that if you have an idea, it can be done," said Meghan Stewart, project manager for Gage Bike Park.