Track’s pumped

V-Boom Pump Track designed to promote healthy lifestyle

Spencer Brunet, of Marquette, takes a rest after trying out the new V-Boom Pump Track at Marquette Alternative High School at Vandenboom. The project was spearheaded by the Noquemanon Trail Network. (Journal photo by Christie Bleck)

MARQUETTE — A few bumps along the way can be a good thing.

The new V-Boom Pump Track was unveiled to the public Saturday at its home at Marquette Alternative High School at Vandenboom, located in Marquette Township.

The $50,000 project came about mainly because of the Noquemanon Trail Network’s Singletrack Division.

Mike Brunet of the NTN said that after talking with MAHS staff, a collaboration was planned between the NTN, MAHS and Marquette Area Public Schools to build a “pump track,” which he noted is as if a person were to imagine a never-ending or an endless BMX track, only a little narrower, with no starting gate and no finish line.

“It’s just kind of an organic, flowy, fun, roly-poly type of track that creates and develops skills, keeps kids off the couch, keeps them off their devices and develops friendships, skills and healthy living,” Brunet said.

The “V-Boom” in the track’s name, of course, comes from its Vandenboom location.

Brunet estimated the fenced-in track at 900 feet, which travels a bit into the woods. Also, about 90 percent of the project involved volunteer labor.

The track is open to the public.

His son, Spencer, 10, of Marquette, loves to bike. So, obviously, he’s excited about the new bike track.

“It’s super fun, jumping, and doing all sorts of tricks,” Spencer said.

NTN Executive Director Lori Hauswirth took a spin Saturday on the new V-Boom Pump Track.

“This gives kids in the neighborhood the access to an outdoor experience,” said Hauswirth, who pointed out the track is close to the Lions Field Recreation Area and the MAHS disc golf course.

“So it’s a real hub for the community,” Hauswirth said.

MAHS Principal Andrew Crunkleton also was on hand for the unveiling, with Brunet previously telling him of the community’s need for such a facility.

“I oversee the property,” Crunkleton said of the MAHS land. “It became a natural marriage.”

He also mentioned the nearby location of the disc golf course as well as the condition of the woods when he took over as principal — “trashed” with glass everywhere and a place where kids could do “unsavory things.”

It’s no longer like that. In fact, Crunkleton said the area is now a healthy green space for the community.

“My whole philosophy as a principal, and for our students, is the more community-oriented we can make our property, like a park, the better,” Crunkleton said. “I think all schools should function that way.”