Grab your skateboard – the Queens Skatepark Association isn’t doing a fakie*, the project has air**! At the December 15, 2015 Region of Queens Council meeting, Dr. Dave Gunn and Ian Kent, Co Chairs of the Queens Skatepark Association, gave a presentation on the progress of the project, and announced that the skatepark will be built in Spring 2016, with plans to be open to skateboarders by summer.
“It is great to see the youth of the community develop their vision for a skatepark, then to go out and make it happen,” said Christopher Clarke, Mayor of the Region of Queens Municipality. “There have been several successful fundraisers over the past few years, and the whole committee, youth and adults, pulled together to plan and implement the fundraising for their project. Council is pleased to see this recreational opportunity will be ready for the community and visitors to enjoy soon.”
A successful community fundraising campaign has netted the Queens Skatepark Association $550,000, which includes the Region of Queens Municipality’s 2012 commitment of $200,000 plus land on which to build it. The total raised to date is a bit short of the original goal the group set. The Queens Skatepark Association has investigated alternate park designs, and has settled on a slightly different design that fits the funds that they have raised.
“We are really excited to work alongside the Region as advisors during the design phase of the skatepark. A good design is crucial to creating a fun and challenging park and represents up to 10% of the total project cost. So choosing the right designer is very important,” said Dr. Gunn. “With our current funds raised, we can build at least a 10,000 square foot park. The design will accommodate both excellent street and bowl skating areas at this size. We have also recently received a generous donation of a covered spectator area. Our group is proud of what we have raised and if the park is built with the current funds it should be a great skatepark that will provide a lot of enjoyment. We have received amazing support from the community and wish to sincerely thank everyone for their contributions so far. But, we still hold hope that further financial support is out there and we will continue to pursue and encourage donations.”
“Significant financial support from our local community and municipal government, partnered with a clear focus on youth and community health initiatives that hold economic development potential - the Queens Skatepark is positioned well to see further support as we enter our build year,” said Kent.
During the presentation, Kent and Gunn indicated that a skatepark designer would be hired in winter of 2016, followed by site preparation, and then the build. However, if more donations are received in the next few months, there is the possibility to design the skatepark to fit additional funds raised, enlarging the footprint and adding to the special features. It will be open in the summer of 2016.
“Our original vision was a skatepark that would not only meet the needs of our local athletes but also become a destination skatepark that would bring skaters and their families to Queens. The main goal of this park is to provide free, fun, and creative challenges for decades to our young and not so young. I think we can now build a park to fulfill that goal,” said Dr. Gunn. However Dr. Gunn added that if additional funds are received, it will be possible to ramp up the design to make it a destination park which would insure the secondary goal of attracting skate tourism.
Tax receipts are issued for donations made to the project. Those wishing to contribute to the fundraising efforts may bring donations to the Region of Queens Municipality, 249 White Point Road, Liverpool, NS.
* Fakie - rolling backwards; the rider is in the normal stance, but rolling in the opposite direction.
** Air - riding with all four wheels in the air.