It’s a perfect winter for a snow park

I’ve held off writing about the proposed snow park at the current Eagle Bike Park, but you can have your say Wednesday, Dec. 18 at 6 p.m. in the public hearing room on the first floor at the Ada County Courthouse. Ada County Commissioners will take public comment on the proposed park, and then they are scheduled to meet with the Eagle City Council on Thursday morning. Hopefully, there will be a decision.

I’ve held off writing about this because Idaho Statesman reporter Cynthia Sewell has done a good job covering the details and debate over the project. I’ve spent a lot of time covering government, so I know there are many steps involved in making these decisions, not to mention politics and campaigning. Nothing against any of that, it’s how a democratic government works. At times it’s frustratingly slow and arduous, and I don’t always agree with the decision, but I respect the process.

But that doesn’t mean I don’t have an opinion as a recreationist. I’ve used the Eagle Bike Park for years and watched it grow from an undeveloped sagebrush-covered hill to a first-class park. I frequently mountain bike there, and I’ve always been impressed by not only the park, but the varied crowd it attracts, from kids to grandparents, from hikers and casual bike riders to hardcore dirt jumpers, skateboarders, BMX riders, etc.

So a snow park seems like a good complement to the existing park, and it appears to me that Ryan Neptune is uniquely qualified to build and operate it.

This year would also be perfect for the park due to the cold weather in late November and cold, dry weather so far. Skiers and boarders were limited in November to Sun Valley, which makes its own snow. To have a place for them to get their first runs in November at a local park would have been very cool, and I have no doubt the place would have been packed with local youth.

I’m afraid dry winters will be more common in the future, and this would give snow sliders a reprieve from relying on Mother Nature’s whims. Call me sappy, but the sound of giggling kids sliding down a slope also seems like a pretty cool thing for the community.

If it sounds like I am for the snow park, I am, just like I’ve been for the various trails and bike riding opportunities. But the decision to approve the snow park still lies in the hands of elected officials who have to look at all sides. It’s not an easy job and it may not be an easy decision, but I hope they make the right one.

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Posted in Into the Outdoors