Fernie had a first big step towards a replacement skateboard park facility. The City of Fernie Council unanimously voted in favour to submit a grant application to the Community, Culture, and Recreation program for a replacement skateboard park. Eligible projects increase access to and quality of cultural, recreational, and community spaces.

The City of Fernie skatepark facility as it exists requires extensive upgrades in order for it to meet the safety standards of the fully integrated modern concrete parks being constructed today. Although some attempts to repair have occurred in the past year, the scale of repairs needed is extensive. The uncontrolled cracking and gaps in the cement pose a threat to current users of the facility. Unfortunately, this will likely result in the decommissioning of the facility in the near future.

Replacement of the facility is a significant undertaking for the City of Fernie as a capital project, and consideration must be given for any and all grant opportunities available to help alleviate associated costs. As an eligible project under the Community, Culture, and Recreation program, this is an excellent opportunity for the City of Fernie to commit to responsible and sustainable management of the skatepark facility.

Municipal skateparks support hundreds of kids that might otherwise have nowhere else to go. The diversity of a skatepark community provides a social support network where school, family, and traditional sports clubs may not be adequate. Young people need things to do and places where they are free to be themselves in Fernie. This includes not only our facilities that cater to more traditional sport, but also a space for skateboarding as a healthy form of recreational and social activity. A well built and properly sited skatepark that reflects the needs of local skateboarders is a hub of creative physical activity, a place where kids and adults come together and are focused on their sport in a positive environment.

The reasons the City of Fernie should continue to provide a skatepark facility include:
– Skateparks reduce illicit behaviour
– Skateparks provide a safe environment
– Skateparks draw skateboarders away from less appropriate areas
– Skateboarding has significant physical and mental health benefits for members of the community

The growing culture of skateboarding has made a positive impact in communities across British Columbia. Modern, safe, and well designed skateparks attract visitors of all ages and abilities, providing security and economic benefits to the communities that invest in them.

Investing in Fernie’s youth is always a positive initiative and we looking forward to a successful grant application. That you to those who have worked to made this possible.

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