LITTLETON, Colo. (KDVR) — Neighbors in a Littleton subdivision near Chatfield Reservoir are working to save a makeshift bike park built by their children. They say the parks department told them the dirt tracks can no longer be a feature at TrailMark Park.
“A whole age range of kids from fourth grade on up hanging out,” said parent Sadie Bergstrom while describing the bike paths’ popularity.
Bergstrom said her son’s summer was all about bike riding thanks to the dirt trails.
“My boy was down here all summer probably eight hours a day,” she said.
Parents said their parks department— South Suburban Parks and Recreation— told them the dirt trails and mounds will be bulldozed, re-seeded and fenced off by Nov. 1.
“I think they just got some email complaints, and I think the guy that’s in charge of this area just got tired of dealing with it,” Bergstrom speculated.
The “bike park” was created toward the end of April and beginning of May, Bergstrom said. Parents said kids had wooden boards — used as ramps— but they removed those boards after concern from the parks department.
Parents said they thought they were in the clear until park officials asked the kids to stop digging dirt due to concern over root damage. Parents told the Problem Solvers they asked the parks department if they could bring in their own dirt to prevent future digging. They said they were told that would be OK. However, that no longer seems to be the case.
Residents are now pushing back. They gathered at the park Thursday with signs in hopes of preventing a closure.
“I really don’t want that to happen, said 9-year-old Travis.
Families said fencing the area off is the last thing kids need after months of pandemic anxiety and stress.
“When we all came out here, in the outdoors, and build the bike park … we made new friends,” Travis said. “We got exercise instead of just staying home on our electronics.”
FOX31 requested a response from South Suburban Parks and Recreation. They provided this statement:
“South Suburban staff has been aware of kids riding bikes in the open space at TrailMark Park for months. However, in the last two weeks, we were made aware of community-constructed bike jumps in the park that have raised safety concerns with South Suburban, the HOA and some residents.
South Suburban loves the fact that kids are outside, using the parks and being active, but jumps and alterations to trails at the park raise safety concerns for bike riders and casual trail users alike.
South Suburban intends to meet with the neighborhood and HOA in the next few weeks to discuss the park.
In 2022, the District will be updating its Master Plan and that process will include public engagement and public comments. This also serves as an opportunity for residents to make requests for new improvements or amenities throughout the District.”Becky Grubb, communications manager, South Suburban Parks and Recreation