Dirt Lab: Creating a Grassroots Skills Park and Trail Building Playground [Podcast #271]

Mat Stanke is a trail builder and board member of the Clinch Valley Trail Alliance in Oak Ridge, Tennessee outside of Knoxville. He and his club recently opened a new skills park called the Dirt Lab through a grassroots effort involving local businesses and community members.

We talk about the vision behind creating the Dirt Lab bike park and how it differs from the natural singletrack trails that were already available to riders in the area. Mat walks us through approvals, funding, and construction, offering insight into the process for others who might be considering the same for their local community. More than just a place for riders to progress their skills, the Dirt Lab offers builders an opportunity to hone their trail feature building skills for future projects as well.

Tune in to hear about the mistakes the group made along the way as Mat speaks candidly about some of the challenges the project faced.

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