Whitefish got its mountain bike dirt park with the flick of a wand. So many volunteers showed up to help that the park virtually shaped up in two days. Even a tot on a Hot Wheels tricycle lent a hand.
“The fence went up in three hours, because 20 people worked on it,” laughs Armory Dirt Jump organizer Pete Costain. But the project started over two years ago when Flathead Fat Tires approached the City of Whitefish for space. They agreed on Armory Park on the east end of Second Street adjacent to the airstrip. “It’s the perfect complement to the skate park,” says Costain.
Last Wednesday, Costain–owner of Dirty Pete Dump Truck Services–began hauling the first of 75 truckloads of free dirt to the site. Chuck Arseneau from the City even brought over leftover dirt from a project. Between Friday and Sunday, around 50 volunteers showed up to shovel and rake under the supervision of Jake Christiansen, owner of May Lawn and Homecare.
To mitigate dust, Christiansen designed the park with a sprinkler system donated by Rainbird Corporation. “I will almost bet that we may be the only dirt jump park in the nation with a sprinkler system,” chuckles Costain.
At first glance, the mountain bike and BMX park looks like sculpted mounds of dirt. “It’s been riding really well,” notes Costain. “It’ll only get better as dirt firms up over the winter.” A run-in ramp leads to three lines for riding—each with different sizes of berms, tabletops, and jumps.
Before the park opens, a few jobs remain. Montana Rock Works donated rock for the start mound’s retaining wall, and Schellinger Construction gave the park gravel for the pathway—both yet to be completed, along with fencing, signage, and landscaping.
The Armory Dirt Jump will open as soon as the City signs off on the project. Costain adds, “It’ll be a great legal outlet for kids.”
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