Durango BMX boasts competitors of all ages and skills, reaching high levels of competition and renown, but the program stays true to its roots: that of a group of volunteers wanting to create a space for biking fun. From its humble beginnings as a vacant lot and some piles of dirt, the Durango BMX track is now a vibrant program offering coaching, camps, and education to anyone who wants to learn how to race the course. By Hannah Robertson. This story is sponsored by Alpine Bank
Hi, I'm Eric Eicher, president and employee owner of Alpine Bank Durango. Alpine Bank is only as strong as its community, and giving back to the community is one of our core values. I'm proud to present Alpine Bank's Community Matters program, highlighting local nonprofit organizations.
This track was started by a volunteer group including Brennan's parents here 21 years ago, and it would've been nine years ago that the program moved into a Parks and Recreation program. So it was originally run by volunteer parents, and then Durango Parks and Recreation stepped in to run the program.
What started as little more than a dirt bike track with temporary permission on a vacant lot south of town, the Durango BMX Program is now a thriving program, offering clinics, coaching, and competitions for kids and youths from four years old up to 17 years old. Despite the program's success, it hasn't strayed far from its roots as a volunteer organization.
It started out with a board of volunteer members of parents and same deal with the board, and we also had track operator, just how it is today, and a lot of it was volunteer based through the families and the parents and the community
Individuals excited and ready to work with their community and put events together and work on the dirt and bring this place to life, so...
With a variety of clinics and afterschool programs, Durango BMX provides opportunities for children as young as four, along with their strider bikes all the way to pre-teens and teens looking to compete at a semi-professional or professional level. Of course, alongside the competitions, there is an element of friendly competition, family and community. For as much as the track has evolved from a semi-organized track to a formally sanctioned competition venue, the power of the organization really comes from the people who have kept the program growing from the very beginning.
We're really fortunate to have a partnership with a group of parents that run a nonprofit and do a lot of great things around our track. So they do the fundraising, Brennan's mentioning, and then the city does have a operational budget to maintain the facility and facilitate these programs.
Every Friday, weather permitting, the BMX track opens for racing and registration at 5:00 PM, with races starting after 6:00 PM. The track is a USA BMX-sanctioned track, so all racers must be registered with USA BMX, but there are scholarships and single-day memberships available. The scholarships cover registration fees for races as well as coaching and camps. The 2023 summer schedule is already released, so make sure to see what camps are available for your burgeoning racer, and of course, there are volunteer options galore.
Yeah, we're trying to get a little bit more creative with putting out the word through social media through a volunteer spreadsheet to try to, weeks in advance, try to get some people to sign up on our spreadsheet and volunteer. If they want to volunteer, they could either send us a message on social media, email us through our email on our durangobmx.com website. Any means of contacting us, we'll try to get back to 'em and try to see what they can volunteer for, what they'd be best suited for.
Find more information about volunteering, scholarships, camps, and more on the Durango BMX website, Facebook page, or Instagram page. Thank you for watching this edition of Community Matters. I'm Wendy Graham Settle.