Youth want to make a difference

Winning scholarships is one thing, but helping others gives more satisfaction

BSS grads Kyle Wamer

BSS grads Kyle Wamer

Ballenas Secondary School (BSS) graduate Kyle Wamer is modest when asked about the many scholarships he recently received and will use towards his post secondary studies in math and physics.

Instead he wants to shed some light on a topic he and some  fellow students are passionate about.

In the fall of 2011, the students founded the Civics Action Group at BSS.

Their mandate is simple: to provide students with the opportunity to gain knowledge of political, global, local and environmental issues and to help youth actively become involved in their community.

They have given environmental presentations to  elementary school classes and have enhanced the Ballenas recycling program.

Their most recent project is the revitalization of Nicholls Park in Parksville.

According to Wamer John Leonard Nicholls served the Oceanside area for many years with true community dedication and enthusiasm.

He was a longtime teacher and administrator as well as serving in many different local organizations.

Ten years after his retirement, the City of Parksville dedicated  the park located on Pym Street to Nicholls.

However according to Wamer the park as it stands today offers little to local residents and he said their youth group want to see the Park returned to a state befitting the memory of John Nicholls, and made into an enjoyable space for the community once more.

Wamer exclaimed they just want to make a difference.

“The name of youth in Parksville really isn’t that strong.  Our image isn’t that good and we want to not only revitalize the park… but revitalize the image of youth in Parksville,” confessed Wamer.

He said over the past month they have conducted a survey of  local residents, to discover the amount of support for the project, and to find out what local residents would like to see have happen with the park.

Having gathered the information, the group is beginning to start work on the next phase of the park revitalization.

Wamer said its success depends upon the support the Oceanside community gives it.

They have already met with the Parksville Lions Club, as well as the Rotary Club of Parksville AM and the Kiwanis Club of Parksville and Qualicum..

Recently, they met with Parksville Mayor Chris Burger and he strongly supported their vision.

The group is now scheduled to speak as a delegation in front of Parksville City Council on July 4 at 6:30 p.m.

Wamer admitted the Nicholls Parks project presents a fantastic opportunity for local businesses to engage with the local community, and work with youth, to improve Parksville.