Yes! We support biking trails at Hill's Hill! Improvement of the current paths at Hill's Hill would make them safe and in harmony with the habitat. We believe the habitat can be protected - while allowing some well-managed trails which respect the woods and others users. But the man-made Pump Track doesn't fit with habitat protection. It's a noisy, constructed area which will harm the understory needed for a thriving habitat.
Yes! The Town has not invested in the woods. Let's invest! For a fraction of the proposed cost, we can fund a faster restoration of the woods - already underway naturally. What better legacy could we leave to our kids?
A Pump Track is a large, man made construction project. While a niche sport, it's popular with a segment of mountain bikers and good for training. The PRC feasibility study showed the pump track in the center of the woods. This breaks the habitat apart into non-contiguous pieces. Two other built training areas are planned. These built areas don't need to be in the woods, so let's move them elsewhere.
Trees are certainly ornaments in some pump tracks. Like golf courses or ski slopes. But trees are just one component of a healthy habitat. Ground grasses, shrubs, berries, seeds, young trees...and quiet...are essential for healthy woods and meadows. We need a holistic view of the parcel. Would a fox thrive on a golf course?
Yes. Hill's Hill was purchased by the Town of Arlington taxpayers by eminent domain in the 1940s. The proposal for a mountain bike park would also use tax dollars under the CPA program. Hill's Hill was purchased for recreation purposes - well satisfied by the current playing fields at the site. And walking or biking in the protected woods is surely recreation.
Yes, the $400,000 is taxpayer funded. If you pay real estate tax you, normally pay 1.5% into the CPA fund. Look in the upper right hand corner of your Arlington Real Estate Tax bill. The line 'Total CPA Tax' is your contribution to Community Preservation Act funds. $400,000 of this fund was requested by the Park and Rec Commission for the Hill's Hill Mountain Biking proposal.