The debate over the Bike Skills Park has torn our community apart. Seniors, artists, bicyclists, teachers, and others lament losing a very tranquil and special area of the parkway near the 100 East entrance. Though near Main Street’s hubbub, it retains a charm reminiscent of old Moab. It also happens to be in a floodplain, a floodway and part of a shrinking wildlife corridor. Opponents to the park’s location contend that a win-win could be achieved by placing this over at Anonymous Park. Proponents of the park feel that the location is important enough to warrant irrevocably changing the natural character of the area so that underserved children will have a place to ride their bikes in a convenient location. Whether or not it is to be marketed to tourists is not clear at this point in time.

Underlying all of this is the mystery of what the real intent of the park is. The grant calls this park Phase 1. It is, according to the grant, one of several phases designed to change the parkway forever. To quote Moab Mayor Emily Niehaus’s letter to the grantor dated 2/14/19, “It is the first phase of transforming Millcreek Parkway into an urban outdoor recreation corridor that will be the first of its kind in the region.” The plan called for heavy advertising as a way to keep families here and spending money for an extra day.

If the city won’t agree to move this to Anonymous Park, could we please hit the pause button, work with an expert in the field, and redesign the grading plans to cause the least amount of harm possible? This would be such a wondrous thing!

Our vision for that area was to create enhancements of the natural elements through the addition of a Bee Inspired Garden and green infrastructure. That would have ensured the health of a place where the children of the future could have enjoyed and absorbed the wonders of nature in this sun-dappled spot. While that dream is gone, we can at least preserve what is possible to preserve through a new grading design.

We who love the parkway are absolutely heartbroken over this. Isn’t it worthwhile to explore the options and seek to come up with a compromise that everybody can live with? Isn’t that what Moab used to be all about?

Sara Melnicoff