Teenager bike park under threat
Ebersberg. After a great deal of work and their own financial investment, youths aided in the construction of a bike park in the north of Ebersberg. However, the park is now in danger of being demolished, for legal reasons, but the young athletes wont give up that easily.
The bike track, with its ground loops and jumps lying in a strip of forest next to a ski-piste, is a popular destination for bikers across the county. The teenagers can't understand why the park has to be removed. "To us it is not clear, it was all discussed with the city government, we trusted in that" ponders Lukas Högel. He is one of many teenagers who helped build the park over several months. The city even supported the project, he says, as well as assisting in the acquisition of materials for the jumping area. "We also had contact with the social worker Peter Hölzer of Ebersberg."
For the time being the bike park must remain closed. The city of Ebersberg owns the ground and transfered the care and management of the forested areas to the forestry district. The forester in charge explains that he can't take responsibility, it's because of accountability reasons, for example if someone gets injured by a falling branch. The issue is forest rights and nature conservation.
Johann Taschner working at the nature conservation office has a sceptical view of the bike park but he encourages the commitment of the juveniles. He would like to see the location of the park in a less problematic area. Another option would be to get official approval, "but that's up to the city of Ebersberg", Taschner remarked. Should there be a case in court, the fact that the area is a nature reserve would not be overlooked. "Its not possible to determine the outcome", he says.
Urban Treutlein, head of the office of agriculture in Ebersberg has the same point of view. "Fundamentally we are not against the bike park" stressed Treutlein as he was being asked by the Ebersberger newspaper, it just has to be all sorted by law. "Thereunto the city of Ebersberg has to explain what they want." From a juristic point of view there has to be a change in use: it has to be made clear that it is a sports complex and not an area of forest. The construction of the park is officially seen as forest clearance even though the trees are not removed. This means that afforestation is needed somewhere, forest office worker Martin Weiß explains that the park was built, despite the forest district advising against it.
The mayor of Ebersberg Walter Brilmayer considers the official approval a "theoretical possibility", but wouldn't work in practise. However he would support the bikers if they were to find a different location.
Lukas Högel and his friends want to keep the location. They are thinking of starting a club, to save the project, which could take care of the park officially. Högel also shows that they have the support of the neighbours: "We have never had problems here."