NEWS file photo - Pacific Board Culture Society has been invited to join the next Qualicum Beach Select Committee on Parks and Recreation meeting to discuss the possibility of the town getting a new skate park. PBCS president Jerret Vanstone says the current park is unsafe for learners of all ages.

Qualicum Beach man advocates skate park redesign, relocation

‘It’s made it really dangerous for kids to learn’

A skateboard advocacy organization will sit in on the next Qualicum Beach Select Committee on Parks and Recreation meeting to discuss the possibility of the town getting a new skate park.

Jerret Vanstone, with the Pacific Board Culture Society, says that the current park is unsafe for learners, and appeared before Qualicum Beach town council on Monday, Oct. 28 to broach the issue of relocating and redesigning the park.

Vanstone is the president of PBCS, which promotes board culture on Vancouver Island.

PBCS provides skate, surf and snowboard equipment for people in need. They also offer lessons and clinics for youth, and encourage arts and culture in the community.

“The current construction of the park isn’t very adequate for people to learn how to skateboard… It’s made it really dangerous for kids to learn. There’s been a lot of injuries throughout the years,” said Vanstone.

READ MORE: VIDEO: Skateboarder alerts residents to fire that destroys Nanaimo house

He cites a lack of adequate transitions as well as large, steep obstacles as safety hazards. He also mentioned that part of the park is on a slant, which he says renders half of the park unusable.

Ideally, Vanstone would see a whole new park constructed.

“Keeping the existing infrastructure there won’t really benefit our town and our community. Removing it and designing a park that is more user friendly for every age would be definitely a benefit,” said Vanstone.

“Us at Pacific Board Culture would be more than willing to put all the work and effort into doing it. Helping fundraising programs, and stuff like that. So anything we can do to get our community a safer place to skateboard would be our main objective,” said Vanstone.

READ MORE: VIDEO: Ladysmith RCMP officer rides scotter with teens at skate park

Council as a whole was favourable to the idea.

Coun. Robert Filmer mentioned that the issue was addressed two years ago, and Coun. Teunis Westbroek noted consultants for the town had proposed the idea of putting in a bowl feature.

The proposal was ultimately rejected as the addition of the bowl would have required trees to be cut down, according to Westbroek.

Chief administrative officer Daniel Sailland agreed that the park is in need of an upgrade.

“Having transitions at a skateboard park so that newcomers at all ages can learn safely and then progress in their skill is something that is lacking at our park,” said Sailland.

He also floated the idea of looking for infrastructure grants to help fund the proposal.

Filmer moved and Mayor Brian Wiese seconded a motion to invite PBCS to the next committee meeting. The motion was carried unanimously.

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