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Skaters, parents, community members advocate for new Qualicum Beach skatepark

Presentation to council touches on safety, location and usability
The Qualicum Beach skatepark. (PQB News file photo)

A group of Qualicum Beach skaters, parents and community members is advocating for the town to build a new skatepark.

Lindsay Reed led a delegation to council’s Nov. 23 meeting, outlining the group’s concerns over the current state of the skate park and asking for an opportunity to present more information at a committee of the whole meeting (COW).

“The park in its current state is barely rideable and has a number of safety concerns. We really need to do better for our community, especially our youth,” said Reed. “As a mom of a young skater, I’ve witnessed the personal growth that is possible through this activity. There are incredible benefits to skate parks, including mental health, physical health, accessibility, safety, social skills and play.”

The group has raised concerns ranging from safety, a secluded location hidden by trees and design elements that make it inappropriate for beginner and intermediate skaters.

Reed’s presentation pointed out the degraded state of the facility, such as its old metal coping bars, which have become rough and deformed, posing a potential hazard.

The park’s appeal also suffers from a poor geometry and flow which can be hazardous when multiple people are using it, according to the presentation.

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The group has investigated other parks on Island, as well as costs and funding mechanisms, design, developers and affiliated community associations, Reed said.

“We’re advocating to have the existing space completely redone to current skate park standards,” Reed said. “And we’re so appreciative that years ago our current mayor saw the importance and value in this.”

Reed said the group has much more information for council and would like to present at a COW meeting.

She also asked the skate park be considered in the town’s 2023 strategic plan and budget.

Coun. Anne Skipsey made a recommendation to invite the delegation back to a future COW. She added a staff report with background information about the skate park would be helpful.

Lou Varela, chief administrative officer, said staff will work with the delegation and keep council informed on the timing of a future meeting.

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