Jumping for joy

BMX track is a reality; kids of Badger have been working on vision since 2014

-Messenger photo by Joe Sutter
Cayden Gascho, 13, hits one of the jumps at the new Badger BMX park. Students like Gascho brought their idea for a park to the City Council, and worked to find sponsors and raise the money for it.

BADGER — Three years after a group of boys presented their vision for a BMX track to the Badger City Council, the concept has gone all the way from a simple clay model to full-sized reality.

Several of the boys were on hand with their bikes to test out the park at a ribbon cutting ceremony held this week

Located at the north end of town, along County Road C56 north of the city clerk’s office, it’s a much-needed fun thing for the town, said Tyler Glesne, 14. The kids thought of the idea because there wasn’t much to do other than sit around and play XBox, he said.

“We were just talking about how there’s nothing to do in Badger,” Glesne said. “We needed something to do.”

The kids worked hard, said City Council Member Janelle Wagner.

-Messenger photo by Joe Sutter
Tyler Glesne, 14, center, and Brenden Harrison, 16, try out the new Badger BMX park which has become a reality after three years. Glesne said the boys in town wanted the park because there’s not much to do.

“They brought in a little model of what they wanted to do,” Wagner said. “They worked very hard and raised some funds for it.”

“We went to two meetings,” said Jacob Andrews, 12.

“It was just me and Jacob at one of them,” added Cayden Gascho, 13.

In September 2014 Julie Busby, the mother of one of the boys, said the idea came up after there had been some vandalism in town.

At that time Julie Busby’s son, Mario Busby, said the boys already ride their bikes in town, but were bored with the plastic jumps they have.

-Messenger photo by Joe Sutter
Bicycle optional: Carson Oleson demonstrates that you can have fun on the jumps and features at the Badger BMX park with or without a bike.

Plus, the park would “keep youth out of trouble,” Mario Busby said.

“There is playground equipment for the younger kids. But there really wasn’t much activity for, what do you call them, tweeners,” Lori Gascho said this week.

After presentations to the City Council in 2014, not much was done for another year, said City Clerk Nadine Odor.

It took a lot of fundraising and finding sponsors, including the city of Badger, the Badger festival committee, W&H Coop, Steve Johansen, Badger Lion’s Club, Gail Higgins and her business, said Lori Gascho, who is a grandma to some of the boys.

“We had children canvassing the city twice,” Lori Gascho said. “We drove around with a hog trailer and collected pop cans, twice. We raised almost $900. Our goal was $1,000. So we reached out to our sponsors again to make up the difference.”

-Messenger photo by Joe Sutter
Elle Gascho, 4, is all eager to help Lori Gascho with the ribbon cutting for the new Badger BMX track this week. At left Carson Oleson and Mayor Chris Wendall look on.

The kids also went to Webster City and looked at the park there. As the plan came together, Patterson Construction donated the dirt, Lori Gascho said, and Curt Glesne did lot of the dirt moving.

“They told us what they wanted and we did the best we could,” Curt Glesne said. “We’ll try to change it around every year.”

-Messenger file photo by Jesse Major
Mario Busby holds the clay model of a BMX track he and his friends hoped to build in Badger in this September 2014 file photo. Busby and his friends approached the city council Sept. 8, 2014, where the idea was well received. The track was dedicated on Monday.