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Re/Max owner funds B.C.'s 1st all wheels park in Prince George

The City of Prince George will soon have the first all wheels park in British Columbia, thanks to a group of community members who wanted to provide kids with an outdoor space to hang out and play.

Brent Marshall, owner of Re/Max, has committed $120,000 to the construction of the Re/Max Adventure Park in the Blackburn community.

"It was really exciting how it happened," said David Mothus, board member of the Blackburn Community Association.

Earlier this fall, board members of the Blackburn Community Association, David Mothus, Jamie Kranrod and Michelle Kenney were casually chatting about the need for a park in the Blackburn neighbourhood when they decided to take action.

"Jamie Kranrod and Michelle Kenney just said, 'Man, we need something more for the kids to do out here,'" said Mothus.

In September, the idea of developing a park was taken to City Council. Mayor and council agreed to donate the land, but not the funds to build the park.

"That neighbourhood specifically, has absolutely nothing for the kids to do. No sidewalks even so you can ride a bike safely. There's just nothing out there," said Mothus.

They decided to approach corporate businesses to partner with on the construction project.

That's when Mothus approached Brent Marshall, owner of Re/Max in Prince George.

As it turns out, Marshall was already tossing around a few ideas with his coworkers about developing parks throughout the City.

After giving it a week's thought, Marshall contacted Mothus and said Re/Max would provide $5,000 per month for the next two years towards building the Blackburn Community Park.

"Honestly, we were kind of blown away that somebody agreed. I knew we had a good offer, but do you think you could go out and ask somebody for $120,000 tomorrow and get it?" said Mothus.

"It's been really neat to see the parents - how happy they are to see something for their kids. The kids are excited, the parents are excited," said Marshall.

The Blackburn all wheels park is being designed by the Canadian Ramp Company, which has built parks in 32 countries.

This will be the first all wheels park in British Columbia - making the park accessible for ages two to seniors.

"Right now we have a survey out on our bike park Blackburn page where community members can vote on what we want," said Mothus. "The Canadian Ramp Company will design us three options and the community will come out and say, 'We want this option.'"

The park will feature walking paths for parents, push-bike paths for kids, a skate park for the older kids and an adventure mountain bike track around the outside for the more adventurous riders.

Three designs are being reviewed and the public has a couple of weeks to view the designs and then vote on their favourite.

The final decision will be made sometime in January and residents must be present at the Blackburn Community Hall in order to have their say.

"BMX was a big thing when I was a kid growing up in Eastern BC. The local contractors and business owners got together and built us this big BMX park and I remember all the good memories and how much time we spent there," said Marshall. "The parents of Blackburn had said there's nothing for us out here."

The Blackburn park will be the first of five parks that Re/Max hopes to build.

The City approved the land a month ago, but left it up to the community to fund the project.

However, once the park is built, the City has agreed to provide maintenance and upkeep on the park.

"We want the community to come out in January and make sure they keep an eye out on the page for when we actually unveil the three designs. They get to pick one, but they need to be at the Blackburn Community Hall," said Mothus.

For more information on the Blackburn Park designs dates to be announced, visit the Facebook Page, Blackburn Bike Park.

Construction is expected to start in the spring of 2018.

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