Barriere BMX track much more than a place for kids to ride

Five years ago there was nothing there; just brush, trees, and discarded items of trash

BMX rider Jason Collins says he thoroughly enjoys working with the kids at the bike track in Barriere.

BMX rider Jason Collins says he thoroughly enjoys working with the kids at the bike track in Barriere.

There is a BMX track in Barriere, beside AG Foods.  Five years ago there was nothing there; just brush, trees, and discarded items of trash.  Kids played there once in awhile, but for the most part the lot was unused.

That was until Jason Collins read an article in the STAR/JOURNAL about kids needing something to do in Barriere.  The article moved him to start looking for an area within the community where kids could ride their bikes.

An avid BMX rider himself, Jason says he started looking for kids who were interested in starting a bike track. Over time he found them, and he also found the lot beside AG Foods.  And thanks to the generosity of Barriere AG Foods owner, Ivan Lee, the lot is now designated a BMX park.

There was no help in the beginning to get the track made, but thanks to the kids who came forward, to Jason, and a few volunteers, they have been able to put it all together.

It has taken five years, but Jason says it was all worth it.  He has 20 kids actively using the track, and now also has assistance from the District of Barriere,  and  the district’s parks and recreation liability insurance covers the track as well.

Jason says he really enjoys working with the kids and helping them to gain confidence and ability with their bikes.  He has also been a ski instructor and is well versed in communicating with young people in an athletic environment.

Jason said, ”I am super impressed with the kids.  They help to maintain the track, pick up garbage, and they are really responsible about their bike track.  That’s what makes it all worthwhile – to see the kids out there having fun, taking ownership of the upkeep, and keeping out of trouble.”

He notes that the track isn’t just about riding your bike, “There are a lot of life’s lessons out there too.  The kids learn to overcome hurdles, both physical and emotional. They learn about teamwork, responsibility, and pride in their own community – it’s all good.”

The track is usable now, but Jason says there are always improvements needed. “Access to water would be a big help, and we have  several other things that need to be done to improve the present site.”

Jason says he hopes the parents will come out to see the place and watch their kids enjoying themselves.  For himself he says he’ll keep dedicating his summers to the kids and the BMX track.

“It’s all good,” says Jason.