‘It’s surreal’: red ribbon cut for Elkford’s new bike park

The inaugural red ribbon for the Elkford Bike and Skills Park was (metaphorically) cut by kid bikers on Tuesday, Oct. 18, 2022. (Joshua Fischlin/The Free Press)The inaugural red ribbon for the Elkford Bike and Skills Park was (metaphorically) cut by kid bikers on Tuesday, Oct. 18, 2022. (Joshua Fischlin/The Free Press)
Dean McKerracher, Jason Meldrum, and Krista Turcasso gave speeches at the ribbon cutting event for the Elkford Bike and Skills Park on Tuesday, Oct. 18, 2022. (Joshua Fischlin/The Free Press)Dean McKerracher, Jason Meldrum, and Krista Turcasso gave speeches at the ribbon cutting event for the Elkford Bike and Skills Park on Tuesday, Oct. 18, 2022. (Joshua Fischlin/The Free Press)
Jason Meldrum spearheaded the creation of the Elkford Bike and Skills Park, which had it’s official ribbon cutting on Oct. 18, 2022. Dozens of kids were making use of the park as adult community members listened to speeches prior to the ribbon cutting. (Joshua Fischlin/The Free Press)Jason Meldrum spearheaded the creation of the Elkford Bike and Skills Park, which had it’s official ribbon cutting on Oct. 18, 2022. Dozens of kids were making use of the park as adult community members listened to speeches prior to the ribbon cutting. (Joshua Fischlin/The Free Press)
Brittney Krenbrink, Jason Meldrum, Tammy Ogden, Keira Meldrum, the board members of the Elkford Bike Club, the leading organization that made the Elkford Bike and Skills Park a reality. (Joshua Fischlin/The Free Press)Brittney Krenbrink, Jason Meldrum, Tammy Ogden, Keira Meldrum, the board members of the Elkford Bike Club, the leading organization that made the Elkford Bike and Skills Park a reality. (Joshua Fischlin/The Free Press)
Dozens of kids were making use of the Elkford Bike and Skills Park during a ribbon cutting event for the park on Oct. 18, 2022. (Joshua Fischlin/The Free Press)Dozens of kids were making use of the Elkford Bike and Skills Park during a ribbon cutting event for the park on Oct. 18, 2022. (Joshua Fischlin/The Free Press)
Dozens of kids were making use of the Elkford Bike and Skills Park during a ribbon cutting event for the park on Oct. 18, 2022. (Joshua Fischlin/The Free Press)Dozens of kids were making use of the Elkford Bike and Skills Park during a ribbon cutting event for the park on Oct. 18, 2022. (Joshua Fischlin/The Free Press)
Dozens of kids were making use of the Elkford Bike and Skills Park during a ribbon cutting event for the park on Oct. 18, 2022. (Joshua Fischlin/The Free Press)Dozens of kids were making use of the Elkford Bike and Skills Park during a ribbon cutting event for the park on Oct. 18, 2022. (Joshua Fischlin/The Free Press)
The Elkford Bike and Skills Park had its ribbon cutting event on Oct. 18, 2022. (Joshua Fischlin/The Free Press)The Elkford Bike and Skills Park had its ribbon cutting event on Oct. 18, 2022. (Joshua Fischlin/The Free Press)

The red ribbon was brought out and (metaphorically) cut for the new Elkford Bike and Skills Park on Tuesday (Oct. 18).

Dozens of kids were out on bikes and scooters making use of the tracks and jumps as adult community members gathered to hear speeches and await the ribbon cutting following an about two-year process to get the park funded and built.

Jason Meldrum spearheaded the project as founder and president of the Elkford Biking Club, and said ‘it’s surreal’ to see.

“Two years ago, I kept driving by here, and it was just trees, there was three dilapidated sheds, I just kept picturing what it would be,” he said in an interview with The Free Press.

“And now, to drive by it and see it, yeah, it’s a pretty awesome feeling.”

Speeches were delivered by outgoing long-time mayor Dean McKerracher, Meldrum, and Krista Turcasso of the Columbia Basin Trust, which was a major funder of the project.

McKerracher said “As your mayor, I couldn’t be prouder to be standing here today.”

“Over the past 20 years in office, I’ve seen a lot of projects come and go. This bike park is just one of the more successes that I’m proud to be here for, and to be part of.”

McKerracher said that since the park opened early in the fall, they have seen constant use of it.

“We see kids and kids-at-heart… out here enjoying it, and that’s what it’s all about.”

Meldrum said he couldn’t remember a time when they saw as many kids collectively gathered in Elkford.

“It’s pretty good for that, I love it,” he said.

“And you know, nobody’s upset, nobody’s mad here, all the kids are happy, having fun. It’s pretty awesome.”

When asked by The Free Press if he thinks he achieved the goal he set out to achieve over two years ago, Meldrum said he would definitely say yes.

“I just kept picturing this whole time, I said, when this is all done, I’m just going to grab a lawn chair and I’m going sit down here and have a beer.

“And, well, I’ve still been too busy to even do that. But yeah, it is 100 per cent what we envisioned. And I think the kids are enjoying it far more than I ever imagined they would.”

Instead of a literal ribbon cutting, after the speeches, a red ribbon was brought out and held at either end of the dirt jump portion of the park, for young bikers to ride through to officially inaugurate the recreational facility.

“We hope you enjoy this for many years to come,” Meldrum said.

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@fishynewswatch
josh.fischlin@thefreepress.ca

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Outdoors and Recreation