Darrington teens’ lobbying effort pays off in new bike jump

DARRINGTON — After months of work, a group of young bicycle riders in town have their wish: Permission to build a bike jump lot in the southwest corner of Old School Park.

Three Darrington High School freshmen presented a six-page proposal to the town council last week. Not only did they get their dirt jump, they got a hands-on civics lesson.

“You are our future,” Mayor Joyce Jones said. “We need you more than you need us. We appreciate your work on this.”

Kaleb Wyatt and Eric Meece, both 15, and Eric’s cousin, Nolan Meece, 16, had help with the project proposal from their parents and community volunteers Bridget Wisniewski and Leah Tyson.

Many other Darrington kids and teens who ride BMX-style bikes also are involved.

The 100-by-50-foot dirt jump project will be maintained by the users, Kaleb said.

Councilman Dan Rankin urged the group to pass on their commitment to keep the bike jump area clean and safe. “This is your legacy,” Rankin said. “We have your word on the maintenance of this, but when you graduate, others need to take over. If the jump is abused or neglected, everything you guys have worked for will be gone.”

Under the direction of the town’s maintenance crew, the bike group plans to start construction this month and have the jump area completed by the end of June. The group also plans to raise money to construct a sign listing the rules of the area.

Various folks are donating the dirt, and teens will do all the labor.

“We are very happy to get this started,” Kaleb said after the meeting. “It feels good that the mayor was behind us and the council did not doubt us.”

With that, Nolan, Eric and Kaleb took off on their bikes.

Gale Fiege: 425-339-3427, gfiege@heraldnet.com.

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