A modern bike and skate park is being planned for Joe Rowell Park in Dolores.
The ambitious project is proposed by the Lost Canyon Bike and Skate Park committee, a newly formed citizens group made up of biking and skating advocates from across Montezuma County, said organizer Jacob Carloni.
The plan is for a state-of-the-art facility that includes three separate elements: a concrete skate park, a bike park course and an asphalt pump track. It would be built on vacant land west of the softball fields.
“The committee is determined to serve the community by building the best bike and skate park possible,” Carloni said during a presentation to the Dolores town board Feb. 14. “These parks provide a safe space for individuals and groups to challenge themselves, achieve goals, and manage risks.”
Professional design would be by The American Ramp Co. with community input, he said. The firm would construct the facility with assistance from volunteers and the town.
Total estimated cost for the project is $750,000, and it would likely be built in phases.
Funding would be sought from grants, donations, and in-kind labor equipment and supplies, Carloni said. Volunteer efforts and donations to build the bike park course could cut total costs by $150,000.
The Lost Canyon Bike and Skate committee is not seeking town funding for the project, according to the presentation.
In a park master plan approved last year, the town designated the 1-acre portion of Joe Rowell Park west of the softball fields for the bike and skate park.
Fundraising for the design phase of the project began this year by the committee. They have raised about $5,000 out of an initial goal of $30,000 to put toward design work. The group is seeking nonprofit status under the umbrella of the Onward! Foundation.
The town board and staff have been supportive of the project, and they applied for a $150,000 grant from Colorado Great Outdoors for initial funding.
But this month, GOCO said the funding request was not approved to move forward to the next application phase. The town can pitch the plan again for funding in the next round of grants this summer.
The project is in its initial phases and has a lot of community momentum, Carloni said.
In a 2022 town survey of the park master plan, the skate and bike park was the most common requests for park improvements.
The facility would support youths, encourage outdoor exercise, and draw in business for town, Carloni said.
“It would serve all age groups and skill levels, and would be a safe space for skateboarders, bikers, scooterists and roller skaters,” he said. “The social activity builds relationships, builds confidence and improves mental health.”
The facility would be a safer alternative to kids riding on roads using “sketchy” homemade jumps, of which photos were shown.
Organizers envision building a higher-end facility because the materials will last longer, withstand weather better, and require less maintenance. The professional level park also could be used to host competitions, demonstrations and classes, Carloni said.
“It would put us on the map, I think it will be a big draw and a worthy investment,” he said. “We have a united movement and are driven to build something amazing for everyone right in our backyard.”
More community meetings will be held once design planning gets underway. The Dolores Parks Committee is a project partner. The goal is to start construction on the bike park portion this summer.
The project is a priority for the town and park committee, said Town Trustee Kalin Grigg, and will require careful planning.
“The citizen committee formed is a very organized, professional and skilled group,” he said. “This is a great model of partnership between the town and the community.”
While project funding is being sought from grants and donations, ultimately the facility will be the town’s responsibility because it will be in a public park on town property, Grigg said.
“We’re going to take all the necessary steps to get this built correctly,” he said.
The town is reviewing the project location to determine if there are any wetland issues or deed restrictions. Agreements between partner groups are needed, and engineered drainage of the facility is essential.
The more the community is involved, the better chance grants will be awarded, added Dolores Mayor Leigh Reeves.
“I wish we could get this many people here for all of our meetings,” she said of the crowd that attended to support the bike and skate park.
The skate park would involve a number of features, from halfpipes, rails and stairs, to ledges, spine transfers, jumps and snake runs.
The bike park’s main attributes are sets of jumps with angled dirt landings along a trail that begins at a high point. The plan is to have three jump lines in small medium and large formats. Obstacle courses, rock gardens and wall rides could also be added.
The asphalt pump track feature is designed to maintain speed of bikers as they traverse rollers, speed berms, and jumps with minimal pedaling.
For more information scan the QR code on project fliers posted around town or contact Jacob Carloni at firstname.lastname@example.org
To donate, visit the project Go Fund Me Page.