Get dirty with new mountain-biking facility for kids

Ingham County Parks launches training site in Holt

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MONDAY, June 13 — Kids in Ingham County can learn basic mountain and off-road biking skills in a new training site in Holt’s Burchfield Park, which opened today.

Dirt School will partner with various community organizations, including Capital Youth Cycling. The organization will offer weekly sessions at the new $230,000 training facility. Bikes and helmets are available free. 

“These rides are facilitated by trained volunteer leaders, but they are really the kids’ own adventure. Mountain biking is challenging. And while this challenge is mostly personal, experiencing it with peers forms a connection through trying new things and supporting one another,”  Capital Youth Cycling Board member Teresa DeLisle said. “Everyone participates in Adventure Bike Club. There are no tryouts, no bench and no cuts. We know that by developing an active community, we can provide youth healthy outlets and connections, as well as the confidence and resilience to face life’s challenges.”

Matthew Bennett, chair of the Ingham County Parks Commission, said Dirt School is unlike anything offered in the region for budding mountain bike enthusiasts. 

“It also supports an important objective of our county’s strategic plan to make facilities and services user-friendly, and to improve existing parklands,” said Ingham County Board of Commissioners Chair Bryan Crenshaw.

The project was paid for, in part, by an IMPACT grant from the Capital Region Community Foundation together with funds from Ingham County Parks, League of Michigan Bicyclists, the DALMAC Fund, and a parks grant from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services and Mid-Michigan Mountain Biking Association as well as individual and business donors. Planning began three years ago.

The project adds to the 11 miles of existing mountain bike opportunities in Burchfield Park, 881 Grovenberg Road in Holt. Ingham County Parks said 500,000 people visited the park last year, a 43% increase over 2020.

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