4 August 2017
Led by Sport Whanganui with an incredible effort by the community, the bike park next to the Splash Centre is closer to completion.
The park, which is likely to be finished in March 2018, will include a senior and junior pump track, two permanent shade areas and a learn-to-ride track for young children to practise safe cycling and scootering.
Initial works have been strongly supported by B Bullock, Jurgens Demolition, Loaders, Doug Rennie of the Bike Shed and the Wanganui Mountain Bike Club, who came up with the idea for the project.
Sport Whanganui’s Community Sport Manager Jodie Brunger says the list of community partners who have donated time, resources and materials to the bike park has continued to grow as the project has developed.
“The project started off slow and took a while to gain momentum but now that people can see things happening they are keen to support it in any way they can. I frequently get calls from people asking how they can help to be part of this project.”
The senior pump track is almost complete, thanks to the Department of Corrections Whanganui and the Community Work Parties, who installed shellrock paths and mulched the gardens in and around the track. Plants have also been donated by the Whanganui District Council, Parnells, Springvale Garden Centre and the Whanganui Prison Nursery, with additional plants purchased with a donation from Velo Ronny’s.
Morrie Gibbons Signs and Display Associates have donated signs for the entrance and tracks and Shade NZ has provided one permanent shade canopy with one to come. Jimmy Haitana and his forestry crew cleared trees next to the senior track for the next part of the development and Harrisons HireMaster donated equipment.
“The list of people we will need to thank is growing every day but I want to give a special thanks to the Community Work Parties at the Department of Corrections and Glen Bullock from B Bullocks for their outstanding work during this stage of the project.
“It’s been a massive community effort to get this stage. In the school holidays we see up to 70 people using the tracks at once. It’s a really positive environment at the park, with little kids being supported by older kids. It caters for everyone.”
Upcoming work includes painting the culvert tunnel donated by Emmetts Civil Construction by local street artist Simon Ormerod from Cracked Ink.
A water fountain and recycling bins will also be installed and staff from BNZ will help out with a day of planting thanks to their Closed for Good programme in late August.
Although the Council is not contributing financially to the project, it gave the go-ahead in late 2015 to use the land between the Splash Centre and YMCA.
Jodie says she is looking for tradespeople who can donate time and resources toward building a block layer for a barbeque and completing electrical and lighting work.
“We are also looking for businesses who can help fund the tar-sealing of the learn-to-ride track. Ultimately we would like to see the track set out like streets with give way and street signs sponsored by local businesses and individuals. We have applied for funding for this, but it won’t completely cover the cost. Eventually, the aim is to tar-seal the senior pump track completely.”
Norman Gruebsch, the Council’s Active Transport Facilitator, says the bike park is part of the big picture when it comes to encouraging people to use active transport, such as biking or scootering, in Whanganui.
“This is a great way people, particularly young people, can become confident on their bikes and have a place to experiment and develop their skills. As part of the Council’s plan for active transport for the next 10 years, we are proposing to build a shared pathway from the Aramoho Railway Bridge along London Street. The pathway will encompass the bike park so people will be able to safely ride there on their bikes to enjoy the facility.”
If you would like to contribute to this project, or find out more, please contact Jodie Brunger at Sport Whanganui on 021 144 8944 or firstname.lastname@example.org