New Site Plans for the currently under development Stone Eater Bike Park have been released. The park is being designed from the ground up as a family friendly riding hub for the local community, a destination riding area for the more than 6 million mountain bike enthusiasts in the greater Midwest region and as a national model, event venue and training facility for NICA leagues, teams, coaches and student-athletes from around the country. Stone Eater Bike Park will be located along US 52, on the former city landfill location.

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Lebanon City Engineer Kevin Krulik recently gave a Stone Eater Bike Park progress report.

“We have been working with the Indiana Department of Environmental Management(IDEM) to permit the reuse of the facility to create the park. The first step in this landfill is to remove the trees,” said Krulik. “IDEM doesn’t want anything the could potentially expose the trash that is buried here, like roots pulling up from a tree falling over. Unfortunately, a lot of the trees you see at the landfill will have to go. We will be taking out all of those trees, and we’ve already received approval from IDEM to begin the tree clearing, We’re probably going to start that in the next week. So all of the trees over the landfill will go.”

Pink ribbons mark the location of trees that need to be removed

Krulik added that tree removal at the former landfill site was the right call, regardless of what happens to the site going forward.

“We really think that the responsible thing to do here, and really what IDEM’s position would be that even if the park doesn’t go forward, the trees need to come down, drainage needs to be corrected,” said Krulik. “We need to install groundwater monitoring systems, to make sure the groundwater is protected and we aren’t seeing any issues that might arise from the buried waste that’s here. So, that’s where we are at.”

Krulik said that tree clearing is just one of many “baby steps” that must be taken to gradually move this project forward.

“It’s really those predevelopment steps to get the landfill into a condition that we can build a park on top of it. That’s tree clearing, that’s earthwork, that’s groundwater monitoring of area wells, and then we would have a blank slate to begin the park construction.”

Krulik said the City has been in regular contact with Boone County officials, working towards an approved project, complete with landscaping and signage that meets the County’s requirements.

“The next steps will be to continue to work with IDEM, to get our reuse plans in place and approved. We have already gotten the approval to do the earth work from IDEM’s perspective. Those are the next steps. On top of that we have to layer in all of the county related approvals for the park. On top of that there are fundraising considerations and every other thing that we are working through to get to a development package where we can actually execute the full project. Right now we are really focused on protecting the environment, protecting the landfill, protecting the underlying groundwater. Making sure we put first things first, before we get into the development of the park.”

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