City of Monticello and Wright County organizers were pleased with an early evening turnout at last Thursday’s Bertram Chain of Lakes Regional Park open house.
City leaders recently approved a memorandum of understanding with a non-profit organization to build a series of mountain bike trails within the park.
The operations agreement between the city, Wright County and Minnesota Off-Road Cyclists (MORC) that’s dedicated to safeguarding the future of mountain biking in the park through the promotion of responsible riding, establishment and trail maintenance.
MORC will provide technical support to Wright County and the city of Monticello in determining the location and design of technical features for the mountain bike trail.
The alignments and phasing of the trails will be determined from feedback received during the March 28 open house that featured with MORC volunteers, Friends of the Bertram Chain of Lakes and the public.
Marc Mattice, Wright County Parks Administrator, gave a short presentation at 6 p.m. regarding the Bertram Chain of Lakes history and past planning efforts.
“It’s been time consuming but well-worth it,” Mattice said, referring to the overall park development process. “What we’ve learned is that people are interested in a wide variety of outdoor recreational activities and facilities.” Mattice said the Bertram Chain of Lakes Regional Park has received $5.9 million in grant funding.
Eight key areas in the 1,200-acre regional park are slated for restoration, said Martyn Dibben, chairman of the Bertram Chain of Lakes Regional Park Advisory Council.
Dibben also provided an update on the Bertram Chain of Lakes Friends Group, the grassroots organization that’s promoting the park effort.
“We currently have 300 members on our mailing list but only 50 are continuously active” Dibben said. “We need more members and people over time, so we’ll be ready in 2015 and 2016 when the final phases of the park open.”
Jay Thomson represented MORC during last week’s open house. Thompson currently works as a project manager with the Three Rivers Park District. He will oversee the Bertram Chain of Lakes Regional Park mountain bike project as trail steward.
“I’ve been doing this for 10 years. We aren’t just a bunch of crazy kids wanting to ride our bikes all over the place,” he said. “We have a detailed, conceptual vision for the trail.”
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