Backyard Terrain Park | Kids VT | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

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Backyard Terrain Park 

You don't need a huge hill to create slope-style thrills in your own backyard. With some skillful snowblowing and an inventive reuse of materials, Williston's Paul Bialowoz turns his family's yard into a snowsport destination for his three kids and their neighborhood friends.

Bialowoz recently transformed his slightly downhill plot by adding two rails, a sizable jump and a landscaped curve for high-speed cornering.

He blows most of the snow from the front yard onto a skateboard quarter-pipe ramp to form a drop-in, which creates vertical distance and speed. He blows the rest of the available snow onto a main sliding surface featuring fun additions, such as an arched homemade rail that's perfect for grinding — even on a sled.

And it's cheaper than a season pass. "Almost everything here is either made from pieces of scrap or purchased real cheap off Craigslist," he says. "Anyone can do it."

click to enlarge SHEM ROOSE
  • Two 55-gallon rain barrels covered in snow form the base of the jump.
  • Plywood covered with a strip of plastic pickup-truck-bed liner makes a homemade grinding rail.
  • Skinny wooden pallets make handy access ladders for the drop-in.
  • Rails and sharp corners are surrounded by smooth snow walls for safety.
  • A mix of sleds, ski bikes, snowdecks, snowboards and snow scooters — thriftily collected and sometimes homemade — add variety.

Parents: Alia and Paul Bialowoz

Kids: Will, 11; Jake, 9; Rachel, 5

This article was originally published in Seven Days' monthly parenting magazine, Kids VT.

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About The Author

Becky Tharp

Bio:
Becky Tharp is the Kids VT calendar writer. She lives with her husband and their two boys in Williston.

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