Burnaby to spend $170,000 removing hidden BMX park, possible contaminant

Remediation company found potential signs of a spray-on insulator in conservation area

The City of Burnaby is estimating it will cost $170,000 to dismantle an unauthorized bike park and remediate the “sensitive” conservation area where it hid for years. 

A BMX track known as Kush Woods grew over 25 years, as riders built jumps, berms and even a large dirt bowl in the wooded Capitol Hill Conservation Area in North Burnaby, BMXer Chester Jones told the NOW in July. 

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Jones said he helped build Kush Woods into the largest BMX park in Canada, the centre of the local riding community and an internationally renowned destination attracting X Games athletes. 

But all that happened without the city’s knowledge or consent, and, soon after an employee stumbled across the track earlier this year, the municipality began making plans to remove it. 

The remediation of the site will include removing 124 features, tarps, wood, tools, 24 water drums and – “of particular concern” – steel drums containing a potential environmental hazard. 

The city says four steel drums were labeled “Genyk Thermal Green Resin” – a spray-on building insulator that contains tris phosphate (TCPP), a compound regulated by the B.C. Contaminated Sites Regulation. The company contracted to remediate the site found TCPP in “possible concentrations above standards” in eight soil samples, according to the city report.  

The company also found hazardous trees and invasive plants that will need to be removed, according to the report.   

The city says the $170,000 remediation will be covered by its existing parks budget.

Burnaby has also hired a consultant to study potentially building a new BMX track near the existing Mountain Air Bike Park at the base of Burnaby Mountain. The city says it’s hoping to work with the local BMX community to “modernize and upgrade the park to attract riders of all ages and abilities.”

In July, Jones said Kush Woods was a world-class BMX track catering to advanced riders. Other public facilities do not provide the challenging ride experienced bikers want, he said. 

Reached by phone this week, Jones said he was unaware of the city’s latest plans. 

“I don't know what's going on because they don't talk to us,” he said. 

Jones said he had not seen the new city report. When shown a copy by the NOW, he said he saw “some crazy figures” before declining to comment further.

“To be honest, I have too many emotions to think straight right now,” he said.  

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