REGION - Twenty VCAL students from Ararat College and Marian College took part in a mountain bike trail workshop conducted by the International Mountain Biking Association.
The workshop offered students a mixture of classroom based theory and practical, hands on trail construction in the Ararat Hills.
The school workshop was part of the bigger three day workshop that offered the Ararat Dirt Riders Club and other community members the skills to construct and maintain sustainable mountain bike trails within the Ararat Hills Regional Park.
The three day workshop was funded through the Ararat Rural City Community Grants program, Parks Victoria and the Central Grampians LLEN.
Students spent an informative morning session learning the theory behind how to construct and maintain mountain bike trails with Marty Krieg of the International Mountain Bike Association and Dave Roberts, Ranger in Charge of the Grampians National Park. In the afternoon, the students headed out to the Ararat Hills to practise their newly acquired knowledge.
The students helped complete the beginners loop trail out from the Bridal Hill car park that had been started by the Ararat Dirt Riders over the weekend.
VCAL co-ordinator at Ararat College, Valerie Lobry said it was a great opportunity for the students to get out of the classroom and learn some practical skills that will help support this project over the long term.
Parks Victoria is now drawing together strategic planning concepts and seeking formal approval for the mountain bike trails project to proceed on public land, and hopefully the formalisation of the existing trails will then occur later in the year.
Once complete, this will provide students from both schools more opportunities to practice their new construction and maintenance skills on a network of sustainable trails in the Ararat Hills Regional Park.
Outdoor education teacher, Paul McLoughlan from Marian College said this is an ongoing project that the students are really keen to be part of, and it's creating a great community based recreational asset for all Ararat residents.
For further information about the proposed Ararat Hills Mountain Bike Project, contact Tammy Schoo (Parks Victoria) 0437 443 876.