Eagle terrain park is now about more than a snow park

I attended the hearing on Dec. 18 over the proposed snow park/terrain park at the Eagle/Ada Sports Complex in Eagle, and it seems like the park itself has become a sideline issue. It’s too bad, because when Mike Aho of Eagle Parks and Recreation showed the scaled-down project, it was pretty darned modest. The actual snow terrain park would only cover about two acres of the 267-acre park, with another five acres for facilities and parking.

“It’s not a ski hill, it’s a skateboard park on a hill,” Aho said.

The biggest hurdle at this point appears to be a disagreement between Ada County and the City of Eagle over how the sports complex is managed, and who has the final say. They’re working toward a resolution. The two sides disagree over whether a private business can operate a concession there, which Ryan Neptune’s winter terrain park would be. Most who spoke at last night’s meeting agree the snow park/terrain park is a good idea for local youth, but questioned whether this is the best place to put it, and whether a private business should be allowed to operate in a public park.

There were 43 people who commented on the terrain park on Dec. 18, and my tally of comments was 23 for, 16 against, four were concerned about how the terrain park might affect the area, but not for or against it. Most of those opposed were from neighbors adjacent to the park, but not all. One young couple said they recently bought a house nearby because of the park.

I would be willing to bet when the sports complex was originally developed and each improvement made, similar concerns were voiced, which is understandable. Nearby residents typically don’t welcome an influx of people into their neighborhoods.

But one thing that appeared nearly unanimous – people love the Ada/Eagle Sports Complex. It’s a regional park that attracts a cross section of people from throughout the Treasure Valley, from body-armored downhill mountain bikers to an old grey-haired gent who bragged about losing 15 pounds by hiking the trail there.

I think Neptune’s terrain park concept is a good fit for the Treasure Valley, and we will see it someplace in the valley, and eventually at the Eagle/Ada Sports Complex. It’s probably a long-shot it will happen this winter, which is too bad because the cold, dry weather we’re having is perfectly suited for it.

People on all sides need to be patient, be polite, declare a truce in the verbal snowball fight, and let the process work. Hopefully, the majority will be satisfied with the outcome.

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Posted in Into the Outdoors