After more than a decade of diligence on behalf of volunteers, the public and the City of Nelson, Mayor John Dooley and Council have chosen a preferred site for the City’s long-awaited outdoor skate park.
And now, residents are being asked to come and learn more about the innovative new recreational amenity and visitor destination, which will be located at Art Gibbon Memorial Park, in Rosemont.
Thursday (January 2) ,from 7-9 p.m., the Kootenay Lake Outdoor Skate Park Society (KLOSPS) and the City of Nelson are hosting an open house to present the plan for the Nelson Skate Park in Rosemont, and the creation of what’s being called an “All Wheel Park.”
The public is invited to view plans for the park, and share comments and feedback on the proposal.
The open house is being held at Rosemont Elementary School, at 1605 Crease Avenue.
“We really hope Rosemont residents embrace the idea of this great new park in their neighborhood,” said Mayor Dooley. “It will be an extraordinary venue for sport and culture to flourish for many years to come.”
In a tireless effort that began over 10 years ago, KLOSPS and its numerous volunteers have raised hundreds of thousands of dollars, studied similar skate park plans around North American and researched numerous proposed sites in Nelson.
“The Rosemont site gives us the very best bang for our buck,” said KLOSPS spokesperson Chad Hansen.
“We don’t need to worry about expensive site prep costs because Art Gibbon Park is ready to build on. Every dollar we have raised would go directly to park construction. Also, it’s a much larger site — and that’s a major plus.”
Hansen says the new park, which would be similar to those in West Vancouver and New Westminster, could measure up to 20,000 square feet and will make the Art Gibbon green space ideal not only for skateboarders, but BMXers, mountain bikers and in-line skaters too.
“The new proposal fits very well with the existing bike park,” said City Manager Kevin Cormack, adding that the expanded recreation space will be “an outstanding park for Nelson, the Rosemont community and the entire region.”
“With the addition of the skate park, improved pathways, the new Natural Building washroom and the bike park, we will have completed 90 per cent of the proposed improvements slated for Art Gibbon Park,” Cormack adds, “with only a children’s playground still to add.”
Time is pressing however.
To cover the cost of the estimated $600,000 project, which will be designed for free by Langley’s New Line Skate Parks, KLOSPS and the city have secured a $400,000 Community Recreation Grant from the Province of BC, along with $61,000 from the Columbia Basin Trust, $10,000 of which was allocated by City Council from the CBT’s Community Initiatives Program Fund for City of Nelson projects.
However, the provincial grant will expire if construction of the park isn’t completed by March of 2014.
Hansen and the City say construction on the all wheel park could begin this spring, which would ensure the new venue would be entirely ready for use and open to the public this summer.