Nordic Ski Park Comes to Elm Park/Newton Hill with DCR Funding
The Friends of Newton Hill is excited to announce the newest project to come to the Hill: a free, Nordic Ski park with groomed trails fit for cross-country skiing, fat tire biking, and winter walking coming to both Newton Hill and Elm Park proper.
Park Spirit of Worcester, Inc., with member organization the Friends of Newton Hill at Elm Park (FNH), will create, coordinate, and manage a free, public-access Nordic (cross-country) ski park at both Elm Park proper and Newton Hill for the 2018-2019 ski season, made possible with a grant by the Department of Conservation and Recreation’s Recreational Trails Program.
The Elm Park-Newton Hill Nordic Ski Park will include beginner, intermediate, and advanced terrain, supporting both classic and skate skiing as well as snowshoeing and fat tire mountain biking.
The Ski Park will provide a novel, exciting, and free wintertime recreational resource in a beautiful, historic public space located in the heart of Worcester. It will be the only groomed, public-access cross-country ski track in Central Massachusetts, promoting healthy, safe, outdoor physical activity in a city with limited options for free, outdoor winter activities and an obesity rate 63% higher than the state average.
The Ski Park addresses the first priority of the Worcester Community Health Improvement Plan, namely to, “create an environment and community that supports people’s ability to make healthy eating and active living choices that promote health and well-being.” It expands upon the theme of free, public green space exercise opportunities provided by the Newton Hill Fitness Course, designed and installed by FNH in 2015.
DCR grant funds will be used to purchase cross-country ski grooming equipment and signage, while trail maintenance and grooming will be provided by volunteers. The Recreational Trails Grant will help the Ski Park come into existence by covering initial operating expenses, while future expenses will rely on user donations.
Trail preparation will occur in November and December of 2018 in advance of and in anticipation for the 2018-2019 ski season.
Park Spirit of Worcester, Inc. is a volunteer non-profit advocacy group that promotes the preservation, maintenance, and improvement of Worcester’s public parks. The Friends of Newton Hill have been a member organization of Park Spirit since 2001 and work to maintain, program, and promote the Newton Hill section of Elm Park.
Interested in volunteering?
The Nordic Ski Park will be administered and maintained completely by volunteers. Volunteer activities includes: prepping the terrain for trail ‘installation’, grooming trails for public use, helping to staff warm up stations, and more!
Donations will be used for operating expenses, such as gas for grooming, repairs, tools and other miscellaneous expenses not covered in the initial DCR grant. Users are encouraged to donate $2-$5 each time they ski to help support operations, and larger donations are always accepted and appreciated.