Brad Ruff

City seeks input on making skate park a more welcoming place

Last week the recreation department invited the public to provide feedback on the Sportsplex skate park.

“What can we do to create a more welcoming skate park at the Sportsplex,” is the question that both the recreation department and the Sociable Scientists will be investigating this summer.

“Some people don’t think it is a very healthy place for kids to hang out,” said Michele Sirett, culture and recreation supervisor. “But we don’t know that for sure, we don’t want to make decisions based on rumours.”

Throughout the summer the public will have opportunities to provide feedback in person at Spirit Square, the skate park and the farmer’s market.

“We want your stories and your voices,” Sirett said. “ At the skate park, we’ll be collecting photos to see how you view the skate park. At Spirit Square and the farmers’ market, we’ll be asking questions and recording responses.”

They will also be encouraging the users of the facility to take photos and make videos. Sirett said kids are more forthcoming with photos and videos, and that is who they want to hear from, the people who use the facility.

“We want to use this information to enhance and promote safe and accessible use of the space for people of all ages and abilities,” Sirett said.  “As a public recreation facility, the skate park is meant to offer a positive experience, and we want to reach out and check in to hear people’s impressions and what we can do to create a more welcoming place. We’re looking for ideas on safety, programming, use, lighting, design, and even art.”

The Sportsplex skate park opened in 2008.

To kickstart the project the Youth in Action Committee presented a business case to city council. Sirett then brought together a group of skaters who fundraised and approached business sponsors to make the skate park happen.

The team will be at the Skate park on June 11 from noon till 4 p.m., June 29 from 5 to 8 p.m., July 24 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and Aug. 12 from 5 to 8 p.m. They will be collecting feedback at the farmer’s market on July 24 from 10a.m. to 1 p.m. Feedback can also be submitted via email to laurel@thesocialblescientists.ca.