From left

From left

Ladysmith skatepark reno gets rolling

  • Mar. 7, 2011 4:00 p.m.

It all starts with flow.This was one of the main concerns skatepark frequenters had with the current park and what led them to take action alongside community members in the Leadership Society of Vancouver Island. That partnership culminated in a ground breaking ceremony at the Sixth Avenue skatepark on March 5.According to Cameron Manns, one of the skaters involved in the planning of the project, seeing their ideas get put to paper and into action has been an eye-opening experience.“It was more of a two-way street than anything,” said Manns of working with the group helping see the project through.“We obviously couldn’t do it without them,” said Manns.The skaters mapped out their ideas and incorporated suggestions from the leadership members and have had the help of engineer, Hasan Yahya, to map out the new park.Manns said he hopes the youth involved in the process will be spurred into taking further action on projects in the community.“Nowadays, youth aren’t really into it, they just want to see it happen. But for the skatepark, we wanted to see it … slowly developing and becoming what it is now.”Mike Ganderton, operations supervisor with the town and leadership member, said when they got together, it was clear they wanted to take on a project with local youth.After a consultation with Danielle Eastick, youth programming co-ordinator with the town, the skatepark stood out as an obvious choice.Carrie Alexander said it has been rewarding working with the kids and seeing their passion.“I come away from meetings feeling energized about things,” echoed fellow program participant Chris Trumpy. Manns, who was joined by Paul Haengphosakul, Connor Melvin and Eric Alexander, said the skatepark users are looking for more of a street-park.“It was an old park and a lot of things have changed,” said Manns, adding the metal copings were one of the issues that needed to be addressed.“Flow is one of the main things. When you go up to something, it has to go right into it.”Features for bike users will also be added to the new park.A few cracks in the pavement along with dirt getting pushed onto the park from above were also some safety concerns the park users aired.A new wall will help fix that and incorporate seating.“With this wall they are putting in, it will help so much.”Eastick said the updated park will look better and more inviting to the community.Eastick said they often use the park for games such as tag when she is running summer camps.The skatepark was closed on February 28 and repairs are scheduled to be completed by May 28. The timeline is to accommodate the Ladysmith Secondary students who will be helping do the work.At their Feb. 21 council meeting, council said they would earmark up to $12,100. Staff were also directed to submit an application for funding through the Municipal Insurance Association Risk Management Insurance Grant Program for up to $6,649.The groups have already secured more than $19,000 in in-kind donations for the roughly the $31,000 project.As it is mostly being done through volunteer work, most of the costs are tied up in supplies, said Ganderton. Most notably, concrete.The Leadership Vancouver Island team includes: Ganderton, from the Town of Ladysmith; Terri-Lynne Campbell from 49th Parallel; Flint Cavey from Western Forest Products; Theressa Klein from Western Forest Products; Alexander from Ladysmith Credit Union; and Trumpy from the Town of Ladysmith.