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I have been riding BMX and building jumps out of dirt ever since I moved to Southern California in 1997. In the last few years I have been studying permaculture design, and I’ve found that the principles and concepts within permaculture can be applied to my love of building jumps, resulting in easier maintenance and a more enjoyable riding experience, as well as a overall healthier ecosystem. Over the past 2 months I have been experimenting with permaculture at my local trails, which we call the “Sandbox.” This area was once a dirt disposal site, so it is full of sand bags, chunks of concrete, and other construction debris, which has since grown over with native chaparral vegetation A small group of local riders, including myself, have managed to dig and carve out a very enjoyable set of jumps into this landscape, and are now nearly completed with the features we intend to build. Our focus now has shifted towards addressing drainage and maintenance issues, as well as beautifying the area. I have found that the techniques I’ve learned in permaculture are quite useful in addressing these issues, and can be applied to help revegetate the areas which have been dug up and are now bare soil.
My vision for the “Sandbox” is that it can be turned into a beautiful and thriving natural garden, one that provides endless enjoyment to bicycle enthusiasts as well as a healthy environment for the native wildlife. The ultimate goal would be to have the place protected and designated as a public bike park, much like the many other skate parks and bike parks around the world. The “Sandbox” could become a special place for people to gather, to enjoy the thrill of bicycle riding, and connect with the wonders of nature. This video is a journal of my first steps towards making this vision a reality.