Jordan Crowell gets some air at the skate park in Shelburne.
By Amy Woolvett
The much-loved skate ramp in Shelburne on King Street was dismantled last week because of a risk to safety to the public.
The only piece left for skaters and recreation use is a paved section of concrete.
Parents with the help of Our House Youth Wellness centre hope to do something for Shelburne’s youth to make the park useable once again.
The ramp at the park was rotted and deemed unsafe.
Kevin Smith is one parent who wants to see the skate park improved.
“We want to see another ramp there again,” he said. “It would need to be made out of concrete or we will be back at this place again in five years,” he said.
Unfortunately, concrete does not come cheap.
A small group of parents are hoping to team with Our House to come up with an action plan to create a safe, fun and long lasting park for this generation of skaters as well as the next. A meeting will be held on Oct. 9 at Our House from 6-7 p.m.
Smith said his 11-year old daughter who uses the park daily just didn’t understand.
“She didn’t know it was unsafe,” he said. “All the kids saw was them taking their fun away.”
They have created the Facebook group, Save the Skate Park, as a method to garner support and spread information and ideas about what can be done with the park.
Jenn Huskilson, director of Our House is hoping the town and municipality as well as local businesses will rally together to create a great park for the kids.
“It’s a great spot,” she said. “It’s highly visible…right in the publics eye and a safe spot,” she said.
She said there will be a meeting at Our House for parents at a to be determined date and time.
“If we can get the numbers behind us it would be better,” she said.
She said previous generations of youth had a difficult time securing enough funds to create a park with longevity.
They hope to begin a fundraising campaign over the fall and winter and want to be able to get the kids back using the park as soon as possible.
“I told my daughter this is not going to be easy,” said Smith. “She’s going to have to help to and work hard to raise the money needed.”
Dylan Heide CAO for the Town of Shelburne said that while Our House is taking the lead in the project, it was an area of the town identified in the town revitalization study in previous years.
The green space running adjacent to the skate park was sold back when the high school was moved but according to Heide it was in the sales contract that if the land was not developed by a certain date, it would have to be sold back to the town for the price they sold it for.
The deadline for development was listed as Nov. 2013.
Heide said in all likelihood the town will be purchasing back the property and have already budgeted to do so.
He said he does not know what council’s intentions are for the land.
“It is a really good location,” said Heide. “Too good to waste.”
In the town’s revitalization study the space was a combined skate park on one side with a children’s playground and park green space on the other.