A Carpentersville park needs the public's help securing a grant so volunteers can continue turning it into a regional destination for mountain bikers.
Keith Andres Memorial Park is a finalist for a grant through Bell Helmet that would help Chicago Area Mountain Bike Riders (CAMBr) build a pump track at the park. A pump track is a continuously looped, bermed and rolling dirt course that lets riders maintain momentum as they ride so they don't have to pedal the bike, said Jeff Provisor, a CAMBr member and owner of Main Street Bicycles in Carpentersville.
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"This pump track will help the beginners and the experienced (riders) have fun and also learn the skills needed for the level of jumps that are built throughout the park," Provisor said.
CAMBr is a nonprofit organization that promotes trail advocacy, sustainable trail development and responsible cycling, according to its website.
It wants a $33,000 grant to build the pump track but in order to get it, needs people to vote for the project at http://www.bellhelmets.com/bellbuilt/.
Voting ends May 4 and the winner will be announced the next day.
Bell Helmet is awarding up to $100,000 in technical assistance grants for three projects across the country -- there are four finalists in the central region and Carpentersville is the only one from Illinois.
"From an economic perspective, it's going to pull in outside revenue as well as people new to the area, and it's especially going to create a facility that's unique to Chicago," Mike Angus, CAMBr's president said of the track.
The project represents a continuation of what CAMBr has already done for the Carpentersville's largest park.
In 2012, the village board agreed to let CAMBr build bike trails in the park that was known as a dumping ground and a haven for illegal activities. CAMBr, which raises its own money for the project, cleaned up the park with its volunteers and started trail and other work last spring. CAMBr has spent $30,000 to date and the entire undertaking could cost up to $250,000, Angus said.
Some of Carpentersville's neighbors are helping the village promote the contest.
East Dundee Trustee Allen Skillicorn is talking up the project and plans on making an announcement about the contest at an upcoming board meeting.
West Dundee posted it on its Facebook page, its website and in an email blast to residents.
"We like to support our fellow communities and it is an amenity to the area, not just to residents in Carpentersville," West Dundee Village President Chris Nelson said. "If (mountain bikers) come to the area, they'll stop and eat in our town and we can't complain there."
To learn more about Andres Park, visit http://www.andrespark.org/.