La Croix United Methodist Church's youth group, Middle Ground, made up of fifth- and sixth-graders, is helping build a BMX bike park there as part of its most recent service project. The group is clearing the trails and organizing the space today to prepare for the building of two or three bike jumps to get the BMX Park started.
About 15 students and four adult leaders will participate, said Hannah Robusto, the Middle Ground coordinator. Robusto chose the project because of her husband Josh's interest in biking. She said she thinks this is a really exciting project and an asset to the community, giving all BMX riders a place to ride.
"The BMX park will be a good place for children to go to stay out of trouble," Robusto said. She said riders have always had a sense of "troublemaking" around them because of the lack of places for them to ride.
Once the BMX park is completed, they will have somewhere to go instead of doing stunts on private and public properties that aren't properly equipped or safe to do them on, Robusto said.
A few Middle Ground students ride BMX bikes, Robusto said. She said she hopes that the park will help them learn more tricks, since there will be beginner level jumps. It will also be a good place for them to have fun outside. Not only is this a valuable project for BMX riders, Robusto said, it's also a good way for the students in Middle Ground to give back to their community.
"It's something fun and rewarding," Robusto said. "Participating in community service projects helps us get in the habit of serving others."
This is the the first project Middle Ground has done this year, but Robusto said she is sure it won't be the last. She said projects like this not only make a difference in the community, but make a difference in the participants' lives.
"Preteens don't always see the impact they can make on the world around them," Robusto said. "So the Middle Ground Team is trying to empower their students to make a difference not only in the local community, but in God's great commission."