Over the past 60 years our culture has witnessed a continuous, gradual, but ultimately dramatic decline in children’s opportunities to play freely, without adult control, and especially in their opportunities to play in risky ways. Over this same time frame we have also witnessed a continuous, gradual, but ultimately dramatic increase in all sorts of childhood mental disorders, especially emotional disorders.
“The Bicycle Capital of the Northwest” addressed the cities concerns with persistent unsanctioned dirt jumps, that had been built for so many years tucked out of general sight, in the heavily wooded areas of Hartman Park by acknowledging the obvious need for this type of adventure play suiting a wide range of ages.
Rather than dissuade those who wanted to experience the thrill of this type of nature adventure, Carolyn Hope, Senior Park Planner, worked tirelessly with the community, designers and volunteers to turn this issue into a much loved community amenity, the Redmond Bike Park. The major hurdle on this project was gaining the acceptance of the adjacent neighborhood. The design was contested for a year after it had been submitted, expanding Audrey’s role as project manager from providing restoration-planting plans developed specifically for volunteer labor, into serving as an expert witness during the hearing which helped the city win their case and allowed the construction of the long awaited park to move forward.
Built with the help of many volunteers, the park was designed for local BMX and mountain bike riders of all ages and skill levels to practice and develop their riding skills in a safe and controlled environment. With dirt jumps, a pump track and skills trails that provide opportunities for riders of all ages and abilities. In addition, there is also a perimeter multi-use trail that circumnavigates the jump trails where the restored landscape is becoming lush as it matures. Whether you are there to ride or walk, the lush, heavily wooded site provides a level of adventure for all.
Location: Redmond, WA
Size: 1.8 acres
Team: City of Redmond Parks Department ; Audrey West (As Managing Principal of Nakano Associates); Hilride
Videos: Redmond Bike Park - October 2014
Image Credits: Courtesy of City of Redmond Parks and Recreation