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Morro Bay Citizen of the Year led effort to create bike park

From left to right, Morro Bay Mayor Jamie Irons, Citizen of the Year Bonnie Johnson and 2017 Morro Bay Chamber of Commerce Chairwoman Cyndee Edwards at a recent chamber installation dinner.
From left to right, Morro Bay Mayor Jamie Irons, Citizen of the Year Bonnie Johnson and 2017 Morro Bay Chamber of Commerce Chairwoman Cyndee Edwards at a recent chamber installation dinner.

A Morro Bay mother who led the charge to coordinate the fundraising, planning and construction of the Morro Bay Bike Park has been named the Chamber of Commerce’s Citizen of the Year for 2016.

Bonnie Johnson spent three years coordinating the permitting and completion of the BMX-style bike park, which opened Dec. 26, 2015, and covers about a half-acre of city-owned property at Main Street and Radcliff Avenue. The park is visible from Highway 1 near the Main Street exit.

Johnson also led the effort to raise more than $30,000 so the park could be built by Santa Cruz-based Action Sports Construction, which creates bike parks around the country.

Johnson was recognized by the Morro Bay Chamber of Commerce at its annual installation dinner and awards ceremony Jan. 20 at the Morro Bay Community Center.

“I wanted to do this to get kids involved in the community,” Johnson said. “I wanted them to have something of their own to take pride in, to get them out of the house and to build their confidence.”

I wanted to do this to get kids involved in the community. I wanted them to have something of their own to take pride in, to get them out of the house, and to build their confidence.

Bonnie Johnson, Morro Bay Citizen of the Year, 2016

The free bike facility, the only official course of its kind in San Luis Obispo County, fills a void in activities for youngsters, Johnson said.

“There really wasn’t enough to do for kids in this area, especially if they aren’t involved in youth sports,” Johnson said last year. “This adds a positive activity that they can do for hours.”

Johnson, Morro Bay Police Department’s support services coordinator, was recognized by the the city’s Chamber of Commerce for helping to fill a gap in the community.

The bike park replaced an older facility, established in the early 2000s, near the former Flippo’s skating rink. That park was taken out when the private property on which it was situated was sold.

“I’m thankful to everybody who gave tireless support, and I’m so glad to see kids enjoying the park,” Johnson said.

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