Almost two years after the fire destroyed more than 60% of the Cudlee Creek forest, Fox Creek Bike Park has reopened more trails every month since April thanks to cooperation between ForestrySA, local entrepreneurs and community groups.
The Human Projectiles mountain bike club was one of many groups involved in the clean-up and recovery of the bushfires.
Longtime member Charles McNeilage said the group, which was formed in the 1990s, has always been an integral part of the development of the bike park, building new trails with the support of government grants.
“Fox Creek was almost a completely community-built park,” McNeilage said.
“It was devastating when the bushfire hit.”
He said Human Projectiles worked closely with ForestrySA throughout the recovery efforts, organizing active bees and clean-up days around the park.
A recent bee working in the community saw more than 80 people come forward to help.
ForestrySA chief executive Julian Speed said working with the community helps build disaster resilience and long-term sustainability in the recreational and forestry aspects of the park.
“Our community approach is very much about heritage,” said Speed.
“This creates opportunities for the community to become involved in the long term, including supporting green business start-ups and volunteer maintenance programs supported by ForestrySA through tools, training and pathways to paid work. “
Before the Cudlee Creek bushfires of 2019, Fox Creek was South Australia’s number one mountain biking destination. With 48 km of professional mountain biking trails, the park welcomes more than 20,000 visitors a year.
In February of this year, $ 2.5 million in local economic recovery support was allocated to the park through the National Bushfire Recovery Fund, with the goal of rebuilding existing trails, improving facilities and infrastructure. of the park and develop up to 50 km of additional trails.
Speed said the rebuilding of Fox Creek will expand the park’s offerings to include more people, including young children, novice riders, and people with disabilities, as well as building more difficult trails for competitive riders.
The most recent addition to the park is the first Adaptive Mountain Bike Trail (aMTB) in South Australia.
Named “Allen’s Orange Whip” in honor of Australian Paralympic cyclist and professional mountain biker Grant Allen, the trail is specially designed for para-cycling bikes. This is the first of three aMTB certified trails planned in the park.
ForestrySA is also working to create a skills pool, which will be the largest and most diverse in South Australia.
Speed says electric bikes are also on the drawing board.
“E-bikes are the fastest growing segment of active transportation and with the greatest shift in usage patterns – many walkers are now discovering e-bikes and switching to e-bikes as their preferred activity,” a- he declared.
“We will support this growth with specific tracks and facilities for electric bikes, such as charging stations. “
The final stages of the redevelopment include facilities such as toilets, drinking water faucets and shelters, as well as connections to the townships of Lenswood and Cudlee Creek and integration into the Wine Capital bike path.
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