Much of history gets lost in the crush of time and the next new thing. So it is with the city’s plan to turn part of the in-town Mill Creek Parkway into a bike skills park. Involving tree removals, grading in a flood plain, and other work that will permanently alter a beautifully tranquil section of the pathway, it is fundamentally antithetical to the founding principles of the parkway itself. (And bad timing for a $30,000 investment from the city.)
Approved by the City of Moab Planning Commission, with David Olsen as the driving force for funding, the parkway opened in June of 1999. (A major flood forced the closure of the parkway for a year a few days after it opened.) An oasis within the city, the parkway is designed for quiet reflection and enjoyment of the creek as it journeys from the mountains to the river. Mature trees, wildflowers, birds and other wildlife conspire to transport you to a slower time and place. Parkway lands provide important habitat in a place where habitat is shrinking for many species.
Designed for slow biking, walking and other non-motorized commuting, the parkway has played a pivotal role in the work of Moab Solutions for the last 16 years. We created Friends of the Parkway with the city in 2004. The intent was to engage the community in removing trash and recycling, hold an onsite lecture series, do hand weeding, and perform minor trail work. Our work expanded when we discovered homeless living along the creek.
We are not opposed to a bike skills park. Just to the placement. We want kids to have fun, but also to dig deeper into the natural world by absorbing the sights, sounds, and smells of nature as they explore these lands.
This matters now more than ever.
— Sara Melnicoff