A Masterton man’s mission to help keep our young people out of trouble rests in the hands of the council.
Masterton District Council’s community wellbeing committee will decide on Wednesday whether to move forward on a proposal for a mountain bike park which is being driven by Sam McDonald, who believes the park will benefit the whole community.
“There’s not much to incentivise kids in Masterton to keep them out of trouble,” he said.
“There’s kids on drugs because they don’t have anything to concentrate their time on.”
The proposed site for the park is an unused hillside area on Gordon St which will feature “perfectly manicured” tracks catering for all users ranging from toddlers to experienced mountain bikers.
The design will be similar to a bike park in Rotorua, which features three different grades of tracks – beginner, intermediate and advanced – giving less experienced riders the opportunity to bypass the more difficult sections.
The park would have the potential to be linked to the existing recreational trails in Lansdowne and the newly established extension from Kitchener St to Gordon St.
Mr McDonald said this was essential to the project’s success, as part of the initiative was to establish a facility which was accessible to all.
He hoped the park would become a community hub with the added attraction of taking part in an up and coming sport.
“All kids from any part of Masterton can go to the park, thrash it out and focus their energy on something positive.”
He said other areas such as Wellington and Wainuiomata were putting in similar facilities which were generating business for the community.
There are currently three mountain bike parks in the region – Rivenrock at Mt Holdsworth, Carterton Mountain bike park at Mt Dick, and Tora Tora Mountain bike trails.
Mr McDonald has estimated the build cost of the park to be about $80,000, which included fencing and planting near neighbouring properties.
The proposal before council is to support the provision of land and a small ongoing commitment towards maintenance costs of $5,000 per annum for mowing, weed and pest control.
However, Mr McDonald said he would like to see the council contribute towards build costs as well, as he was passionate about what the project could do to change the youth culture in the area.
“It’s got nothing to do with me – it’s about the community and the children.
“That’s the focus behind it.”