WILMINGTON — An off-road bike track is being considered for the David R. Williams Memorial Park in the area where, until recently, the Kroger/Clintmont Baseball Field was located.
The baseball field’s fence was taken down this year after the city parks baseball season ended. With numbers down in adult softball and youth baseball, the ball diamond is not needed for those sports, said Wilmington Parks & Recreation Director Lori Kersey Williams.
But the space is a good place to put a splash park and a concrete skate park, both to be built in 2017. Now, a small off-road bicycle track — sometimes called a pump track — might become a third use for the former ball field.
The splash park will sit not far from the wooden castle playground on what was left field in the former baseball field. The concrete skate park will be situated on what was right field.
So a little off-road bike track could be scraped out in the infield area, and serve as a trial to see the extent of use.
Williams said she knows there’s a demand for it because there are youngsters attempting to navigate their bicycles on the current wooden skate park and parks staff is telling the riders they need to leave with their bikes.
“Just imagine getting three functions out of one baseball field,” Williams said this week at the site.
Use of that particular park space also would be less seasonal than baseball, she said, noting that skateboarding and biking can be done for much of the year.
A small off-road bike track could happen this fall, which is the best season to move dirt, Wilmington Mayor John Stanforth said. In addition, there is not a lot of cost associated with creating a small off-road bike track.
Depending how the project turns out, the outcome could be called a pump track, said Williams.
A pump track can be utilized to learn mountain bike safety, or it can be used by youngsters on no-pedal balance bikes — training bikes that help children learn to ride on two wheels.
Contracted work to fashion a splash park will be put out to bid in January 2017, and then the concrete skate park project will go through the same process shortly after that.
Williams is confident the splash park, where young children can cool off with sprayed water, will be ready in summer 2017. The skate park also will be built in 2017, she said.
The David R. Williams Memorial Park, accessible from Fife Avenue, currently has two soccer fields, a fenced dog park, a shelter house located near the castle playground, a paved parking lot and concession/restroom facilities.
Reach Gary Huffenberger at 937-556-5768 or on Twitter @GHuffenberger.
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