We support bike trails at Hill's Hill!
But, an 8000 sq ft recreational “Pump Track” in the middle of Hill’s Hill woods would transform this recovering natural habitat into a busy, man-made Mountain Bike Theme Park. It's not the right place for skills and jumps. There are other locations at the perimeter of the woods or on the opposite side of the skating rink that would be a much better fit.
The Community Preservation Act Committee agreed with us. The wrote the PRC grant such that they would need a project re-approval (with potential denial) if they place the pump track in the woods.
Before any funds are spent, three principles are essential for this project:
1. Move construction plans including the Pump Track outside the woods, where they won't harm nature. There are several potential spots: at the edge of the soccer field at the foot of Hill's Hill, on the other side of the Burns Arena where an outdated play area is collecting weeds, or at McLennen Park, where a skate park has been established.
2. Make bike trails eco-friendly. Current "un-authorized" trails are a hazard to trees and walkers alike. Kids have dug large, three feet deep,holes to make jumps. This hurts tree roots, kill pollinators, and endangers walkers. The redesign of these trails can be done cheaply and with biker safety, walker access and ecology in mind.
3. Engage Community Groups and Schools to participate in the project and restore the habitat. Several groups have expressed interest in habitat study, invasive species removal, and natural restoration. The invasive species group ArMI is already seeing progress after a year's work removing invasives.