10:05 PM EDT, June 6, 2012
Indy Parks is beginning the process to see if mountain biking trails could be a possibility at Eagle Creek Park.
Wednesday night, the city held a meeting at Pike Performing Arts Center. There were so many people that turned out for the meeting that it was moved into a larger auditorium.
Bikers have been requesting mountain biking trails at the west side park for years, but the process to get those trails, if ever, will be very slow. The major concerns are over whether the riders would cause erosion and damage the natural habitats of countless plants and animals many enjoy in the parks.
David Morse said he’d like to see the trails,
“Right now there aren't very many options within the city limits for mountain biking.”
Currently, visitors aren’t permitted to mountain bike on trails at the park, although some complain that is already happening.
Jen Pittman the Deputy Director of Indy Parks said Wednesday’s meeting is the first step in a very long process because of all the public interest in the park.
“We thought it was a good first step to get some community input before we even build out this process.”
Some were for the trails, some were not, and many were just curious like Ross Reller who lives next to the park.
“Well as long as they don't increase erosion and decrease the natural habitat, I think it's probably fine. I'm just curious how that balancing act will take place.”
Morse thinks the trails will give people a closer look at nature and therefore make them care more about protecting the beautiful land.
“Just getting people outside realizing what we have in the city, it will make people more impassioned about preserving what we have already.”
Hoosier Mountain Biking Association is one of the top trail builders in the country. The organization has developed the trails in Brown County and has volunteered to do the same in Eagle Creek Park. The organization thinks it can develop trails that are both user and nature friendly.