As of 11am Friday, we have a signed contract (MOU) with the City of Northfield, Minnesota for our trail in Sechler Park. Props to City Engineer Dave Bennett, Streets & Parks Manager Jasper J Kruggel, the Northfield Parks & Rec Advisory Board (PRAB), and the Northfield City Council for their unanimous support. And a tip of the helmet to Matt Andrews at IMBA Midwest for his behind-the-scenes consulting.
We’re negotiating a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the City of Northfield for our mountain bike trail and skills park in Sechler Park. We want the ability to use a variety of power tools, including chainsaws and skid steers. Marty Larson and I presented to the Northfield City Council tonight:
Here’s our slideshow:
Update 2/17, 1 pm: here’s the City’s video archive of our presentation the meeting. 20 minutes:
CROCT has formally adopted the naturals lands area of Sechler Park via the City of Northfield, Minnesota’s Adopt-a-Park program:
We purchased a sign and today, installed it at the entrance of the singletrack trail behind the kiosk:
It’s been nine months since we opened the our first mountain bike trail in Northfield’s Sechler Park and we finally have a kiosk at the trail head. It’s adjacent to the paved Mill Towns Trail at the west end of the Peggy Prowe Pedestrian Bridge, a few yards from the cul-de-sac behind Walgreen’s:
This type of kiosk was recommended to us by TJ Heinricy, Streets & Parks Supervisor with the City of Northfield. (There’s a similar one in the Babcock Park dog park just across the Cannon River. ) Since this portion of the park is in the flood plain, he thought it best to avoid anything too fancy and anything made of wood. CROCT paid for it ($475) and TJ covered the not-so-insignificant shipping costs out of his parks budget.
CROCT member and uber volunteer Bill Nelson took charge of the kiosk installation yesterday. I was his marginally adequate helper:
I attended the BikeNorthfield steering committee meeting at the Northfield Public Library last night, as the agenda (PDF) included a discussion with City staff leaders (City Administrator Nick Haggenmiller, City Engineer/Director of Public Works Dave Bennett, and Engineering/GIS Technician Jasper Kruggel) about two upcoming street improvement projects that concern bicyclists: 3rd St. & Hwy 3; and Woodley St from Division to Prairie.
There may not be an obvious connection between CROCT’s mission and the current activities of BikeNorthfield (a link to their Facebook page). But our Sechler Park MTB trail is popular in part because it’s directly connected to the City’s paved trail through Riverside Park and across the Peggy Prowe Pedestrian Bridge. Our discussions with the PRAB could lead to the establishment of mountain bike trails and skills parks in several other City parks, in which case, extensive street and local paved trail networks are increasingly important so that off-road cyclists of all ages can ride safely to and from the dirt trails and bike parks.
City of Northfield Ward 2 Councilor David DeLong and Park & Recreation Advisory Board (PRAB) Chair Dale Gehring walked the the Sechler Park mtb trail this afternoon, accompanied by yours truly and CROCT board chair Marty Larson.
The 1.5 hour hike of about 3 miles (from the cul-de-sac behind Walgreen’s to the far pavilion and back) was a little challenging, as the temperature hovered around the zero degrees F mark with gusty northwest winds.
Marty and I wanted to give them a first-hand look at what CROCT volunteers have accomplished in Sechler Park since we got approval from the City to construct a mountain bike trail there last year. We’d like to add extensions and features to the trail this year, as well as install one or more trail head kiosks. And we’re interested in discussing the possibilities of adding off-road trails and bike park features like pump tracks to other City of Northfield parks. (For example, see the CROCT blog posts about the Meadows Park community planning meetings.)
We’re not yet sure if Dave and Dale were impressed with what they saw, but given the weather conditions, it’s likely they’ll remember the experience. 😉
And on related note, Councilor Dave took a few spins around the River Bend Nature Center parking lot last Saturday on a fat bike during the RBNC Fat Bike Event. In case you missed the photos of him in the blog post/photo album: