A BMX Course recently opened in Webster City with help from local youth, the City, community volunteers and businesses.
The idea to create the course came to Kenny Morris about eight years ago. Morris enjoyed BMX, bicycle motocross, in his native California. When he moved to Webster City nine years ago, he saw many people riding around town on BMX bikes.
However, there wasn't a place for those bikers in town. BMX bikes aren't allowed on the ramps and rails of the Skate Park at East Twin Park. Morris said bikers might also get into trouble riding around town looking for jumps.
Connor Jessen gets air on one of the jumps at the new BMX Course with friends looking on at East Twin Park in Webster City.
Colton Jones, right, grinds on the top of a dirt mound at the BMX Course in Webster City on Wednesday with Luke Estlund following behind him.
Kenny Morris stands with local children who worked to create a new BMX Course in Webster City. The bikers volunteered their time to help build the mounds at the course. Morris said that involvement means the kids who use the park will continue to look after it.
"I thought the best thing to do would be to have a Skate Park and a BMX Course together so you know where all the kids are and they have something to do," Morris said.
He told Recreation and Public Grounds Director Kent Harfst about the idea. Morris said Harfst was on board, but they didn't have a place to put it back then. Last year, the tennis courts were removed from East Twin Park. That left a large patch of land right next to the Skate Park open.
"As soon as they hit the tennis courts, I knew we were going to do it," Morris said.
Morris asked for the same amount of space as the Skate Park, 50 by 100 feet, to built the BMX Course. In addition to help from the Webster City Parks and Recreation Commission, Morris said local businesses lent a hand to help create the course. Among them was WCF Financial who donated dirt to the course. The dirt came from the construction site of their upcoming facility on Fair Meadow Drive.
Much of the work was done by the children who are now using the course. Morris said youth volunteers were able to complete the course with tools left out for them at the park. About a dozen of those volunteers were riding the course on Wednesday afternoon. Morris said he likes to see those kids staying active outdoors.
"A couple of kids have given up their Xboxes since we built this. Another kid said he's losing two pounds a day coming here every morning," Morris said.
The course has already brought visitors to Webster City. Morris said riders have come from Des Moines, Mason City and Knoxville to enjoy the course. He said those bikers have been excited to use the course because few exist in Iowa. Morris said he hopes the course will drive tourism and business in Webster City. Next year, Morris said he hopes to host a competition in the style of the X Games in Webster City, the "WX Games."
Morris said he is proud of the kids and community members who helped make his dream a reality.
"This park was made to look after the kids. They're the next generation and we have to look after them," Morris said.