When Scott Rist learned that 50 percent of the kids in Delta County don't own a bicycle he decided to take action.
Rist, a senior park ranger for Colorado Parks and Wildlife, applied for a grant from the Colorado Parks Foundation to buy bicycles for Sweitzer Lake State Park which is located just south of the town of Delta. The foundation awarded him $2,500 and he used the money to buy eight mountain bikes and helmets which people can use for free at the state park.
"Riding a bicycle gives kids a sense of independence, helps them build confidence and gets them outside," Rist said. "This is a small effort, but it's important for Colorado Parks and Wildlife to do whatever it can to help kids and families enjoy all that the state has to offer."
Rist is the senior ranger for Sweitzer, Crawford and Paonia state parks.
Cascade Bicycles in Montrose helped purchase the bikes at a discount through the Specialized bicycle company's ambassador program.
Bikes are different sizes and suitable for kids and adults. The bikes must be checked out by an adult with a valid identification. They can be used for an hour on the roads and trails of the park.
"This will help kids learn the joys of riding bikes and this is a great way for kids and adults to enjoy the park," Rist said.