The Ute Mountain Ute Tribe has built a new bike park and exercise stations to promote healthy activities in the community.
The projects were organized by the Tiwahe Initiative as part of a master plan to improve community services.
Funding was provided by the Bureau of Indian Affairs, the Colorado Health Foundation and the Ute Mountain Tribe.
The new bike park opened in September and includes multiple obstacles for different levels of riding, from beginners on up, said Tiwahe Director Juanita Plentyholes. It is behind the Head Start school on the west side of town.
“There are a lot of kids on bikes, and this is a safe place for them that is away from traffic,” she said. “It is open to anyone.”
The bike park project was funded by a $100,000 grant from the BIA. It was designed by American Ramp Co.
The course is adjacent to a service road popular with runners, bikers and walkers.
The tribe also recently installed four fitness stations in town, with funding support from the Colorado Health Foundation.
Two of exercise stations were placed along the service road behind the Head Start school. Another two were built along Mike Wash Road, which has a lighted, 3-mile sidewalk from town to the Travel Center. The lighted sidewalk is also popular for recreation and exercise.
A series of community meetings showed there was an interest in more gathering places in Towaoc, Plentyholes said.
The new bike park and exercise stations help to meet that need as part of a comprehensive plan.
“People can have birthday parties there, or picnics. Families can walk along the service road, exercise at the fitness stations there. The kids can ride bikes at the new park close by,” she said. “The area is for all of them.”
Future ideas include adding benches and picnic tables at the bike park.