Oct 24, 2022 - News

Ewing Park mountain bike advocates fight against opposition

A photo of a bike.

Tracks like this one at DSM's Ewing Park would be part of the Copper Creek Mountain Bike Park project. Photo courtesy of Ken Sherman/K&K Images

Dozens of supporters of a proposed mountain bike park on Des Moines' east side will attend a city council meeting tonight to counter opposition, Dave McCloney, president of Central Iowa Trail Association (CITA), tells Axios.

Why it matters: It could make or break the project.

  • There was enough opposition from nearby residents to a city survey last month to require supermajority council approval β€” at least six of seven votes β€” to rezone the area for the $2.2 million park.

Catch up fast: Copper Creek Mountain Bike Park would border Pleasant Hill and connect the Gay Lea Wilson Trail just off East University Avenue.

  • The 50-acre project is proposed by Polk County Conservation, which purchased much of the undeveloped land last year.

The other side: Opponents fear the park could increase illegal activities like dumping, destroy wildlife habitat and exacerbate flood risks.

  • Yes, but: McCloney and conservation officials told Axios the project will instead address and improve each of those issues through natural restorations and security enhancements.

What's next: Tonight's meeting begins at 5.

  • If approved, the park could be constructed and open as soon as spring 2024.
A photo of a dirt bike trail.
Some areas of the proposed Copper Creek Mountain Bike Park are already used by hikers or mountain bikers. Photo courtesy of Ken Sherman/K&K Images
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