Opening celebration set for Aug. 27 follows support from a range of organizations
Photos above: The design plan for Wallowa Bike Park and its construction underway
Citing a range of benefits for children and with funds from a robust group of supporters, Building Healthy Families announced the grand opening of the Wallowa Bike Park in rural eastern Oregon. The 12,000-square-foot outdoor facility, built on land donated by the Wallowa School District, includes rollers, tunnels, pump tracks, rock gardens and a wide number of areas for kids to ride bikes, scooters, skateboards and/or rollerblades. Donations and support from local businesses and student volunteers, along with grants from organizations such as The Roundhouse Foundation made the new park possible.
“We know that the benefits of physical activity for children, especially in underserved areas like Wallowa, can contribute to better mental health, individual empowerment and a more inclusive community,” said Ron Pickens of Building Healthy Families. “I experienced this first-hand for myself as a child, when I found a positive outlet in recreational sports like biking and skateboarding. That’s one reason I was so passionate about this project. I can’t wait to see all the good things it will bring to the community, and am so thankful for all the support we’ve received to make it possible.”
Students from Wallowa county were engaged in the entire process of building the park, from conducting pre-construction community surveys to grassroots fundraising and from speaking at City Council meetings to designing and constructing the park itself. A youth art contest was held to select the new logo for the park (attached). The park was built on a lot occupied by an unused tennis court on Wallowa School District lands.
The Roundhouse Foundation, which supports innovative programs in Oregon’s rural communities, provided a grant for both the first and final phases of the project, and additional financial support was received from The Ford Family Foundation, Autzen Foundation and Oregon Community Foundation – Trail Blazers Foundation Fund.
“We were so impressed with this project and the leadership that the young people of Wallowa County showed to make it happen,” said Erin Borla, executive director of The Roundhouse Foundation. “Building Healthy Families inspired their students and supported the learning of employable skills while leading this project through all phases: planning, design, fundraising and assisting with the construction. This local project also helps to make recreation opportunities accessible for families in this rural county while thinking creatively about a unique space in their community.”
The Wallowa Bike Park grand opening:
WHEN: Saturday, August 27, 2022 from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
WHERE: 207 W 2nd Street, Wallowa, OR 97885
MORE INFORMATION: Community Partners will be set up providing swag and local resources, bikes and skateboards will be raffled throughout the day;, guest speaker Bobby Jones will be presenting; food and sno cones will be available. For further details, call 541-426-9411.