City Achievement Award for Youth and Youth Council for “City of McCall’s Mountain Bike Skills Park.” The award will be presented during the AIC Annual Conference in Boise on Thursday June 21.
Read the narrative submittal that won the award:
The Mountain Bike Skills Park located in the Harshman Skate Park area is a great example of how community partnerships can result in a wonderful public recreational facility. Mountain Biking weighs in as a significant share of youth sports in the McCall Area and continues to grow year to year. Beginning in 2009, with McCall Parks and Recreation’s first Mtn. Bike Camp at Bear Basin, fathers removed training wheels, kids fetched whatever bikes they had in the garage and Youth Mountain Biking in McCall began.
In that moment, the recreation team began to see the growth in youth participation first hand. The mountain biking movement in the McCall area has seen wide support from the start, boasting volunteer instructors, bike rodeo events, donations from major trail land owners like Jug Mountain Ranch and even the development of a youth mountain bike team. The completely volunteer coached Payette Area Youth Mountain Biking Team, a NICA-affiliate, hosts middle and high school athletes in and around the small City of McCall. Since its first year in 2015, team participation has grown from 6 to 63 athletes. Watching the skill and talent develop in these same small children from that first 2009 skills camp to competitive youth team athletes in 2015 was a sign that there needed to be even more biking opportunities. The decision was made by Parks & Recreation to cultivate the youth sport by providing a unique facility that encouraged even more growth, a mountain biking Skills Park.
The Skills Park concept had been around for some time, but the opportunity to develop the park in McCall came with the release of the grant funding from the Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation (IDPR). The McCall Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee agreed that the development of a pump track that was easily accessible and close to town would be a great amenity for beginning riders. Thanks to the willingness to expand the use of district property for another public recreational facility by the McCall Donnelly School District School Board, the City of McCall was able to move forward with the application for IDPR grant funding. “The skills park is a great resource for our community and another positive, healthy activity for our student-athletes to engage in. It keeps more kids on bikes,” said Dean Cromwell Payette Area Youth Mountain Biking Team Director & Coach. “The new Skills Park may even pave the way for McCall to see an advancement in the current IMBA Silver ranking status to a prized Gold ranking,” said Kurt Wolf McCall Parks and Recreation Director.
Funding & Donations
The total project cost was just approximately $30,000 to include grant funding, donations, materials and labor.
The project was funded by an $11,994 Mountain Bike License Plate Fund grant from IDPR, along with City funding through materials and labor provided by the Parks Department. Wayne Ruemmele of Epikos Design and Planning, a local business owner in McCall, did the conceptual design, and donated time for project oversight. Kurt Wolf, McCall Parks and Recreation Director, worked closely with Jason Clay of McCall Donnelly School District (MDSD) in order to make sure the skills park was consistent with MDSD’s facilities. Joe Weede and Jeremy McGlatherty of Single Track Sessions, a McCall Mountain Biking School, acted as the primary building contractor. The equipment necessary for project excavation was donated by Ben Gau of McCall Dirt Works.