Grant will help finish Fruita’s new bike park

The dusty berms, rollers and jumps at the relatively new Fruita bike park may be covered with snow, but some big additions to the park are planned for after the melt-off.

The city of Fruita has received a grant from Great Outdoors Colorado to finish construction of the final details of the bike park along Colorado Highway 340 north of the Colorado River. It opened to the public in spring 2011.

“It’s going to really be a full-service, neighborhood park when we’re done,” said Ture Nycum, Fruita parks and recreation director.

To get to that stage, plans call for a number of improvements and additions, Nycum said.

Turf grass will go in, providing a decidedly un-dusty space in which to hang out. Two new shelters will be built with barbecue grills. And what Nycum described as a “naturescape” playground — massive boulders with connective ropes between them, among other natural features, for kid climbing — also is planned.

Bikes always need tweaking, so two bike repair workstations are going to be provided. Have a flat tire, and you’ll have access to a stand and tools to get rolling again.

A unique addition to the park will be the xeriscaping demonstration garden, where people who are considering the water-minimizing landscaping technique can see examples that work and what they look like.

The xeriscaping section will be a project coordinated with the Ute Water Conservancy District and Colorado State University Cooperative Extension Service, which are among a number of community organizations in support of the bike park.

The Colorado Plateau Mountain Bike Trail Association, whose volunteers helped build the park’s features, and the Colorado Riverfront Commission wrote letters of support to Greater Outdoors Colorado, and the Western Colorado Conservation Corps made an in-kind donation of $1,500 and will send a youth crew to work at the park for a week or two.

“It gets a lot of people invested in the park and leads to people taking care of it, too,” Nycum said about all the groups involved.

The amount of the grant is more than $244,000, and the city of Fruita will spend $105,550 on the improvements as part of its 2013 capital projects budget.

Nycum said the city aims to have the upgrade finished by the end of the summer or in the early fall. City officials will finalize the specific plans and construction scheduling in the next month or two.


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