Oak Creek to get ski trail | SteamboatToday.com

Oak Creek to get ski trail

Town receives $6,000 grant from LiveWell Northwest Colorado

Nicole Inglis

— Oak Creek residents soon will have an opportunity for outdoor recreation right in their backyard.

Through a grant from LiveWell Northwest Colorado, the town of Oak Creek will buy a snow groomer to provide winter trails at Decker Park and Soroco High School for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. The town also plans to offer free access to equipment and trails to encourage healthy living.

"We're hoping we get people out there who normally don't have the opportunity to get out and play in the snow," Oak Creek Mayor Nikki Knoebel said.

The $6,000 grant came at the end of the 2010 cycle of the LiveWell Northwest Colorado program, which will grant hundreds of thousands of dollars each year for seven years to programs across the county promoting healthy eating and active lifestyles.

A snow groomer is just the beginning, said Barb Parnell, LiveWell Northwest Colorado community coordinator.

The $6,000 grant also will be used to make trail improvements to the creek-side path in Decker Park.

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"We're getting a lot of bang for our buck," Parnell said about the program. "We thought that would be a good amenity in our community, and we are really trying to do something local.

"The LiveWell grants are to help increase access to local activities for everyone, but especially people who aren't right now physically active."

The groomer, which is scheduled to arrive in a few weeks, will be pulled behind a snowmobile, and the city will be responsible for grooming and maintenance.

Knoebel said she hopes to have lockers at Decker Park and the high school with free equipment for public use.

Eventually, she said the trail at the high school could provide activities for physical education classes.

Other projects in LiveWell Northwest Colorado's 2010 cycle included a disc golf course in Hayden, healthy eating programs at local schools, community gardens in Oak Creek and Steamboat Springs and a sidewalk near West Lincoln Park.

The program will have another $250,000 to divvy up in 2011.

How to help

The town of Oak Creek is looking for donations of cross-country ski equipment and snowshoes for public use on its planned winter trails. Call Nikki Knoebel at 970-846-2083.

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