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Doreen Dirt Jumps

The City of Whittlesea is introducing a pilot program of temporary dirt jumps at Painted Hills Recreation Reserve in Doreen. We are working closely with the community to deliver a facility that can be shared and enjoyed by locals and encourage anyone with an interest in this to get involved.

Background

The City of Whittlesea has a growing number of BMX, mountain bike and dirt jump riders in the municipality.

To meet demand, there have been several facilities built, such as Whittlesea BMX track and Sycamore Reserve BMX track.

However, there is an absence of facilities along the Doreen/Mernda corridor and currently local riders fill this gap with unregulated dirt jumps that may pose safety risks to riders and others using these public spaces.

In line with key objectives identified in the Whittlesea Cycle and Skate Strategy, the City of Whittlesea is seeking to expand its provision of riding infrastructure in key growth areas.

In August 2020, Enlocus Landscape Architects were engaged to undertake a preliminary feasibility investigation.

Pilot Program

Council is introducing a pilot program of temporary dirt jumps at Painted Hills Recreation Reserve in Doreen.

We are working with Youth Services Australia and local BMX riders to create a space where our young people can be creative and display their dirt jump building skills.

Painted Hills Reserve has been selected as the pilot site due to its central position within Doreen and being within easy riding distance of shops, schools and trains.

The park itself has sports grounds, pavilions and is home to the Doreen United Soccer Club.

If the program is successful, the jumps will be made permanent at Painted Hills Recreation Reserve.

The dedicated area may include jump lines, tabletops, gap jumps, whale tails, berms and more.

Working together

Our aim is to work closely with the community to identify suitable locations in Painted Hills Reserve and build these dirt jumps together.

Council is engaging a contractor to undertake the design and consultation of the Doreen Dirt Jumps pilot facility. As part of the scope of works, the contractor will undertake specialised community workshop sessions with local riders, with the assistance of Council's communications and engagement team.

Frequently Asked Questions

A dirt jump is an elevated structure made from compacted soil that is designed for a bicycle, skateboard, or other wheeled device. A dirt jump consists of a take-off ramp where riders build up speed and a landing ramp where they touch down. Jumps can vary in size, ranging from smaller tabletop jumps suitable for beginners to large gaps designed for professionals. 

We are introducing a pilot program of temporary dirt jumps at Painted Hills Recreation Reserve. We are working with Youth Services Australia and local BMX riders to create a space where people can be creative and showcase their dirt jump building skills. 

The dedicated area may include jump lines, tabletops, gap jumps, whale tails, berms and more.  

Our aim is to work closely with our community to identify suitable locations and build these dirt jumps together. We hope this program will create a positive future for mountain bike and BMX enthusiasts and our broader community. 

While we understand that it may seem like harmless fun to build a few dirt jumps in an empty grassed area, there are a number of reasons why we can’t allow this to happen.

The first is safety. As a Council, we need to make sure that anything built on Council land is safe – for both the users and passers-by. When community members build their own jumps, we can’t ensure that what has been built is safe – either in the design or construction. And while there will always be some level of risk involved in any skate or BMX facility, Council can manage this by having any facility professionally designed and built, and regularly checking and maintaining them.

We also need to be particularly careful of the damage dirt jumps can cause to the natural environment. When dirt jumps are built by the community, it often causes damage to garden beds, grassed surfaces, mulched areas and tree roots due to the digging required to move dirt. Sometimes the jumps are built in our conservation areas, causing damage to endangered plant species. It’s important that we ensure our natural environment, beautiful landscapes and opens spaces are being taken care of.

Lastly, we need to consider what the whole community want. While an open space may seem like a good place to build jumps, residents with properties that surround that open space may not like the idea of having something built so close to their homes. When Council builds something, we talk to all those who will be affected by it, and those living close by to ensure that everyone’s feedback is considered.

The reserve scores highly across many categories. Its strength is its central position within Doreen, it is within easy riding distance of shops, schools and trains. The park itself is newly activated with sports grounds, pavilions and is the home of the Doreen United Soccer Club.

Yes. The contractor, along with Council, will undertake a series of pop-ups and workshops to ensure the riders get a say in the design and construction of the facility. 

The overall maintenance of the dirt jumps will be undertaken by Council; however, the day-to-day maintenance will be undertaken by the users.

The City of Whittlesea’s Cycling Sport and Skate Strategy 2015-2025 identifies that up to 70,000 residents within the Whittlesea Local Government Area are likely to skate, scooter or cycle by 2025. 

Cycling and skating for sport and recreation includes BMX, mountain biking, dirt jumping, road and track racing, as well as skateboarding, inline and quad skating. 

Council is committed to improving facilities for cyclists and skaters to encourage more people to exercise outdoors. 

After careful consideration, Council has decided that it will remove any illegally built dirt jumps, including those at Janefield Conservation Reserve, Lauries Field Conservation Area and Quarry Hills Parkland. 

Illegally built dirt jumps pose a risk to the environment and the people who use them. 

Dirt jumps are often located in areas with vulnerable or endangered plant species that can be damaged or destroyed during either the creation or use of the jumps. 

The community should not be building their own dirt jumps for the reasons outlined above.

More information

For more information, email parks@whittlesea.vic.gov.au or phone 9217 2170.