Preliminary plans for Sooke Bike Skills Park

Letter: A look at preliminary plans for bike park

President of Sooke Bike Club shows what they plan to do

esign provided by Alpine Bike Parks for the Sooke Bike Skills Area to be built in John Phillips Memorial Park.  This is only the first draft, and there will be revisions.

Please take note that all the circles drawn on the plan are existing trees.  The trees on the property are protected by a covenant, meaning they won’t be cut down.  There is also a covenant on the property providing adjacent property owners with a buffer zone.  The conceptual plan actually increases the overall size of this buffer.

This park will not be like your typical ‘dirt jump’ park.  The trails drawn on to the conceptual plan are relatively narrow, and there is no intention to bulldoze the area flat.  Some parks of this kind do the best with what they have and are often relegated to disused industrial lots and the like, which is why they often look blown out and ugly.  That will certainly not be the case here in Sooke.

The existing Dirt Jump Park on SEAPARC’s property is an example of doing the most with the least- the park was built for only a few thousand dollars and  volunteers, (mostly kids), the dirt for the jumps was not ideal and the slope of the land makes it difficult to maintain momentum.  Add to this the fact that volunteer maintenance and further park development was not allowed.  Now, with all that being said, that facility hosted a number of events and gave young people a place to hang out and develop their skills, so I will always see it as a success.  Even though the location was not ideal, it was a step in the right direction.

 

John Phillips is a beautiful park, and the aim is to not only maintain that beauty, but to enhance it by removing invasive species like blackberry and scotch broom, replanting native trees and shrubs and landscaping portions of the area to protect the privacy of neighbours and to manage water flow.

In addition, there is a perimeter trail drawn into the design which will be a continuation of the existing multi use trail that was built in the park a year or two ago.  This trail will greatly expand access, and therefore enjoyment, of the park by all park visitors, including pedestrians, joggers, dog walkers etc.

We hope to also install picnic tables, and Sooke Slow Food Cycle has a plan to build a beautiful cob restroom facility at some point, from what I understand.

There have been some misunderstandings about the overall design of this facility, and the Sooke Bike Club would like to assure the people of Sooke, and especially the neighbours to the park, that the finished product will not only provide an amenity which benefits our young people, but which also complements and enhances the natural beauty of John Phillips Park.

Lorien Arnold

President, Sooke Bike Club