Mountain bike skills park wanted in city

The North Okanagan Cycling Society made a pitch Monday to Vernon city council for a mountain bike skills park.

Mountain bikers are looking to the future.

The North Okanagan Cycling Society made a pitch Monday to Vernon city council for a mountain bike skills park.

“We want to encourage more youth participation,” said Nick Macdonald, club member.

“We want kids to enjoy the outdoors. We will encourage physical activity in the community.”

Currently, there are more than 620 members in the club.

“A bike skills park is necessary infrastructure to meet growth,” said Macdonald.

About two to four hectares are needed for a skills park and an accessible site is ideal.

“We have locations in mind,” said Nick Ball, society president.

On Monday, the society requested that the city identify a location and include funds for a skills park in the 2017 budget.

“We will help with the funding,” said Ball, adding that the group is willing to pursue grants and raise community awareness.

Council will consider the request.

“I don’t know if it’s a facility we need but would it be nice to have, yes,” said Mayor Akbal Mund, whose children are involved in the society.

“You do need places for kids to learn how to ride bikes.”

One of the sites that has been suggested is Marshall Field, but Mund admits another option is Kin Race Track.

“It could very well be a possible location.”