Dayton bike playground opens. $1.6M-$2M Bike Yard project coming soon

Dayton’s first bicycle playground had a grand opening on Saturday, but city officials hope that a much larger mountain bike park project is just around the corner.

The city says it wants to invest as much as $2 million converting Welcome Park into the Dayton Bike Yard, an urban bike park offering pump tracks, jump lines, flow trails and single-track trails.

“We want to maintain this neighborhood amenity and build a regional attraction,” said Susan Vincent, a planner with the city.



Located in the Carillon neighborhood, Welcome Park has 10.5 acres of space that will be turned into the Bike Yard — a “brand new, cycling powerhouse amenity” with trails for all skill levels, Vincent said.

Since 2019, more than $200,000 has been invested into improvements at Welcome Park, which includes a new perimeter trail and upgrades to playground equipment, basketball courts and restroom facilities.

A 0.5-acre bicycle playground was installed this year at the east end of the park, which had a ribbon-cutting Wednesday and a grand opening Saturday.

The bike playground cost about $36,000, which was paid for with grants and donations.

Transforming the park into a mountain bike park is expected to cost between $1.6 million and $2 million, and the project will be paid for with Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds, grant funding from the state and other sources and private donations and sponsorships, Vincent said.

“I am really, really excited to announce that the city is making a commitment to utilize a large portion of CDBG funds in order to move the full vision of this park forward,” she said. “We will leverage those funds in order to secure additional grant dollars, to secure private donations and sponsorships.”

Vincent said the city is committing more than $1 million in CDBG funds to help cover the bulk of construction costs for Bike Yard, including improvements to entrances and a new community gathering area and signage.

So far, the project has raised $290K in private grants, donations and contributions, she said.

The city hopes to issue construction bids for the Bike Yard early next year, and construction of most trails and features should get underway next summer or fall.

The city plans to pave some trails that were originally planned as dirt paths.

Some elements might have to wait for a second phase of the project, depending on funding.

“No matter what, we will be moving forward with a large next phase of the park next year,” Vincent said. “There may be subsequent, smaller phases to complete elements of the park based on our additional fundraising needs but the Bike Yard will truly take shape in 2022.”

Dayton has long wanted to bring a mountain bike park to Welcome Park, but there were delays.

“This is something we talked about almost six years ago,” said Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley. “And it takes a while to everybody aligned and get the vision right.”

Community partners on the project include Bonbright Distributors, the Miami Valley Mountain Bike Association, Bike Miami Valley, Edgemont and Carillon neighborhood groups and CityWide, Five Rivers MetroParks and Dayton Children’s Hospital.

The partners want to develop a programming plan that will not only attract new regional visitors but will continue to provide opportunities for Dayton Public School children and neighborhood families to take advantage of and enjoy the park, Vincent said.

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