Recent History – 2002
May 3, 2002
By Mark Nielsen, Daily News Staff
The Chamber of Commerce luncheon became the venue Thursday for the premier showing of a presentation that will be used to raise support for the new skateboard park.
With the help of a PowerPoint presentation, four youths and one adult touched on such aspects as the popularity of the sport, the need for a new skateboard park and the challenges to be faced to reach that goal.
Although the wooden fun box and ramps put up by Rotaract have been appreciated, said Kyle Laloge, a grade nine student at Central Middle School, they are unfortunately not suited for the Peace River climate. Moreover, skateboarders are less than welcome in the downtown core where they’re a nuisance for business owners and pedestrians alike.
The kids really do not have a proper place to skate, he said.
Since November 2001, when the Mile Zero Skateboard Club was formed, over 80 youth and parents have committed to the goal of bringing a full-fledge skateboard park to Dawson Creek.
Eric Hryniuk, a grade seven student at Central, said that club members have shoveled driveways, sold flower bulbs and placed donation cans at various business to raise funds.
He also said that the club has been working on a design that will challenge all users, remains within parks and recreation guidelines and enhances the community.
Ross Balmforth, a grade nine student at Central, gave the criteria that they’ve established for the location: “We would like to have a central location that blends in with its surroundings and enhances our community,” he said.
He added that the spot should be well-lit, close to public transportation, and able to provide challenges for novice to advance riders as well as BMX bicycle riders and inline skaters.
The preferred location, said Reagan Wilbur, a grade seven student at Central, is at the corner of 12th Street and 102nd Avenue.
“The reason for this particular area is that it is centrally located, has existing parking close by, and is near public transportation,” she said. “Also, by being close to the local RCMP detachment, this would ensure a safe environment.”
RCMP Const. Craig Douglass, who has been extensively involved in the project, noted that thanks to a $150,000 grant from Human Resources Development Canada, eight people have been hired through the Kiwanis Enterprise Centre to help see the project through, which he estimated will cost $80,000.
“The RCMP is a strong supporter of this project,” he said. “Not only will this park reduce the amount of complaints we get, it will give us more opportunity to interact with youth.”
The group plans to take the presentation to other groups around the city. Meanwhile, skateboarders are also offering to rake gravel off lawns for a donation. Call 782-7423 for more information.