The petition to save the Greenland Dirt Jumps has finally made its way in front of council.
While members of the city’s community services committee recommended referring the matter to staff for a report, the petition, which has reached 6,346 signatures on change.org, has almost reached its goal of 7,500.
The petition, started by Stephen Lind, aims to stop the demolition of Greenland Dirt Jumps by the City of Oshawa, and to allow time for community engagement.
“The Greenland Dirt Jumps have been in existence for over a decade. While these trails are not fully sanctioned, they have been modelled after professionally built public bike parks,” he writes in his petition to the city.
He notes other than a single complaint several years ago regarding a garbage issue which was quickly rectified, those who use the jumps have managed to successfully share the space with others with no more complaints.
He also points out people from Oshawa aren’t the only ones to use the jumps.
“Many people from other regions/municipalities visit to take advantage of the great riding opportunity rarely found freely accessible to the public,” he says, also noting it allows children in the area to have a space their parents don’t need to drive them to.
The Greenland Dirt Jumps have also been home to future professional athletes, such as X Games gold medalist Mike Varga, who Lind says used the jumps as a child.
“During his childhood, Greenland got Mike Varga into dirt. Now he is an X Games BMX dirt gold medallist,” he writes.
To Lind, Greenland has been home to a “welcoming tight-knit community” who takes care of the jumps themselves, as well as the green space around it.
He also points out the jumps are made by experienced bikers for bikers, making it as safe as it can possibly be.
“Those who participate in a sport such as BMX know the importance of having parks designed by people who understand how the sport works. The jumps and the park’s overall orientation have been designed with safety as the first priority,” he says.
He continues by pointing out the park also has something for all skill levels, as filter obstacles are in place to allow for safe progression through the trails.
Lind also points to the positive effect a park such as Greenland Dirt Jumps can have on kids as they look for something to do during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Kids need a safe way to access the outdoors during these difficult times. That has become very challenging since the pandemic has put a hold on many activities for kids such as sports teams, camps, or even hanging out at their friend’s house,” he explains.
The referral will now head to council for final approval.