At the urging of avid BMX racers, Pierce County Parks and Recreation is working to reopen the Riverside Park in Sumner, which has been closed since January’s flooding.
Pierce County parks officials originally said they may not reopen the park due to the routine flooding it has endured in recent years.
“It’s difficult for us to go back in and dump money into something that keeps getting flooded every 18 months,” parks superintendent Kent Baskett said.
But Baskett said Monday that the department has working on an inexpensive plan to reopen the park.
Department officials are holding a meeting to update park users about the plan tonight at 6 p.m.
The meeting will be held at the Pierce County Parks and Recreation Headquarters, located at the Lakewood Community Center at 9112 Lakewood Drive Southwest.
Riverside Park is home to the River Valley BMX Track and the Riverside Disc Gold Course.
Mark Hutko, the track operator at River Valley BMX, said he’s been talking to county officials about how they can maintain the BMX track without having to spend loads of money to re-engineer it.
Hutko said that the land, which can’t be developed due to its location on the river bed, still works well for BMX racing. BMX racers from throughout the Northwest use the track, he said.
“Maybe nothing can be built there,” Lutko said today, “But for us that’s perfect. We belong there.”
Look for more about the future of Riverside Park and the River Valley BMX track in the paper later this week.