PORTLAND, OR (BRAIN)—A private backer has pledged $1 million to help build a new destination bike park in a 35-acre no-man's land between Interstates 84 and 205 near the former Rocky Butte jail, according to a recent story in The Oregonian.
"I believe we are entering a new era for mountain bike facilities," said Mike Van Abel, executive director for IMBA. "IMBA's message about the value of well-funded model trail systems is inspiring individuals, foundations and companies to new heights."
For now, the supporter wants to remain anonymous, but the promise of money gives the "Gateway Green" project a much-needed push, said developer and area landowner Ted Gilbert, a major supporter of the plan, the story stated.
"Momentum is building, but I don't pretend it can happen overnight," Gilbert told the newspaper.
The proposed park, which is on state land, would link to Portland's extensive bicycle commuting network and contain mountain bike trails, a cyclocross course and a free-riding area, he said. The trails would be in a wooded area of the site, while the southern end, with its rolling hills, is ideal for the gravity-fed activities, he said to the newspaper.
IMBA communications director Mark Eller told BRAIN that "as far as he knew this is the largest-ever gift from an individual for a mountain bike trail project on public land."
"Even more intriguing that's it's an anonymous gift," Eller added.
IMBA's Jill Van Winkle worked closely with local bike leaders to present a concept plan for the Oregon park this week, and noted that and IMBA/REI Stewardship Grant will help fuel the trails.
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