Grant secures future of park
Updating Cougar Park is a dream about to come true for Tokoroa Mountain Bike Club which received a whopping $350,000 for the project from the district’s $5 million fund.
President Brett McMullen said it is something that would never have been done otherwise.
‘‘An upgrade to the extent we are now able to wasn’t ever on the horizons. We’re only a small club with limited resources. We were never going to get this park to a standard where we will be able to now.’’
Cougar Park, as with many mountain bike parks, operates in a plantation forest, McMullen said.
‘‘Tracks are disturbed to a certain point and then you go and reestablish them. The plus side is that it allows us to bring the tracks up to a better level than they were before.’’
The grant couldn’t come at a better time either.
About six months ago the club was made aware of Hancock’s plan to harvest an area of the plantation.
‘‘Last week we were given a harvesting plan to show which areas of the park they will tackle first. Initially were are going to spend a small percentage of the money on upgrading existing tracks in areas that will be harvested in the next few years.
‘‘We don’t want visitors to come and be disappointed with the park. The mountain bike community talks, and we don’t want them to say ‘don’t go there they’ve got crappy tracks’.’’
He said they will rotate the track formations while this happens.
He said the ultimate goal is to utilise local labour in the formation of the tracks.
Park users should start to see changes in the next few years, McMullen said.
‘‘After five years we intend to have spent the money.’’
The club has committed to holding three major events at the park annually as a condition of securing the funding.
McMullen said the first big one will be the Day Night Thriller coming in September.
Traditionally held in Taupo, he said the national event is set to attract more than 1000 entries.
‘‘We’ve had to do a lot of work on the existing tracks to make it memorable.’’
And an upgrade is only set to bring bigger and better things to town, he said.
‘‘We’re just excited that we’ve secured the future of the park and we look forward to adding to the mix of the South Waikato.’’