James River Water Levels

Westham Gauge
Gauge Height: 4.96'
Flow: 4700 cfps

Trail Conditions: Richmond

  • Very hot and humid today so fill that Camelbak and bring an extra water bottle. All local trails are open.

Todays Tides: Richmond Locks

High Tide: 8:36am
Low Tide: 3:54pm

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Posted In: Mountain Biking

Belle Isle bike skills park needs help

February 25, 2012 2:57pm

Richmond-MORE recently sent out an email solicting funds for the new Belle Isle Bike skills park, saying this: “In order to complete the Belle Isle Skills Park, we need to raise $28,000. Some costs have increased and the scope of the park has expanded since it’s original conception – a bonus for us – and we are providing training to volunteers for building the park and maintaining it. This project will be a huge boost for the biking community. Help us make the vision a reality and donate.”

Wondering what the extra funds would go toward, I called Greg Rollins, Richmond-MORE president, and Nathan Burrell, city trails manager, for more information.

Rollins said $13,500 was already raised and allocated to build the skills park. That covers materials and the fee paid IMBA for site design, volunteer training and construction. However, he said, there are cost overruns totaling about $8,000 due to “an expansion of scope” of the project.

Burrell agreed: “The project is going forward. It’s just the other ancillary pieces to it that we’re still seeking funding for.”

The main ancillary cost will be close to $20,000 for a water fountain. A water line will have to be dug from the triangle building on Belle Isle, Rollins said. That’s where most of the price tag is coming from.

It’s the kind of thing, Burrell added, that’s “not necessary for the facility to be succesful, but [it’s] a nice amenity.”

Corporate sponsors have been sought to help defray the cost, and XTERRA and Luck Stone have said they would help raise funds during the June XTERRA events. In the meantime, the bike skills park construction will go on as planned, likely kicking off in late March-early April and finishing about a month later.

If you feel so inclined, follow this link to donate to the cause.

About Andy Thompson

I was the Outdoors Columnist at the Times-Dispatch from 2007 to 2013, writing twice a week about mountain biking, fishing, hunting, paddling and much more. I live a 1/4 mile from the James River, close enough to see bald eagles soaring over my house on their way to find a meal. Pretty cool, eh?