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Volunteers Big Sky SWMMBA board members, and community partners gathered on the evening of July 21 to finish building Phase 1 of the pump track at the Big Sky Community Park. PHOTO COURTESY OF THE SWMMBA BIG SKY CHAPTER

Community bike park gets a facelift

By David Tucker EBS Contributor

BIG SKY – Swing by the Big Sky Community Park and you’ll likely notice all the familiar sights, like the softball fields, playground and skate park. But look closer and something new will catch your eye: a rebuilt pump track for Big Sky’s growing mountain bike population.

Through a partnership with the Big Sky Community Organization, the Big Sky Chapter of the Southwest Montana Mountain Bike Association got to work this summer on raising funds, finalizing designs and moving dirt for what will eventually be a 9,000 square foot bike park. Trail builder and park designer Integrated Trail Lab is responsible for both phases of the build, and Phase 1 wrapped Wednesday, July 21 with a final volunteer effort at the Community Park.

Over the smell of grilling hot dogs and with the now-ubiquitous wildfire smoke hanging in the air, SWMMBA Big Sky board members, the trail builders, volunteers and community partners put the final touches on the project’s first phase.

Using tampers and rakes provided by chapter sponsors at Ace Hardware – Big Sky, berms were smoothed out, rocks were racked free of dirt and anxious riders packed down the final product.

“When we sat down one year ago to come up with a list of goals, rebuilding the community pump track was at the top of the list,” said Regan Teat, SWMMBA Big Sky chapter president. “By supporting our fundraising and volunteer efforts this summer, Big Sky showed up in full force to make this happen. We’ve proven as a community that we are committed to expanding biking opportunities and investing in trail infrastructure moving forward.”

As is so often the case in Big Sky, collaborative efforts from a variety of partners made this goal a reality, from individual community members buying merch at the farmers’ market, to community foundations granting thousands of dollars of support. Before even a dollar was raised, however, the partnerships were already in play. The pump track is being built on Big Sky Community Organization land, which the nonprofit is providing to improve the park resource.

“We’re excited to announce the complete renovation of the Community Park Pump Track by Integrated Trail Lab, made possible by the collaboration of SWMMBA Big Sky and the BSCO,” said BSCO Parks & Trails director Adam Johnson. “It will provide a space to learn and develop bike-handling skills for all ability levels.”

“The Big Sky chapter of SWMMBA made the project a reality through their fundraising efforts, and BSCO looks forward to working with them on more trail projects to improve the trail system in the Big Sky area,” Johnson continued.

While Phase 1 of the pump track rebuild is already a significant upgrade, this is just the beginning. Phase 2 more than doubles the square footage and will include the eventual asphalting of the entire track. This allows bikers to ride almost year-round and cuts down on the regular maintenance that dirt-only pump tracks require. While the dirt is still settling on Phase 1 of the project, fundraising and planning for Phase 2 is well underway. Visit donorbox.org/swmmba-bigsky-pumptrack to make your contribution today.

David Tucker is the director of outreach for the Southwest Montana Mountain
Bike Association.

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