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Skatepark plan gets rolling

Kootenay Lake Outdoor Skatepark Society president Rob Levesque shows future skateboarder Bjorn Elkuf (and his dad Kiyo) a longboard that Tribute Boardshop is raffling off to fund the park’s construction. Tickets are $10, and are already half gone. - Andrea Klassen photo
Kootenay Lake Outdoor Skatepark Society president Rob Levesque shows future skateboarder Bjorn Elkuf (and his dad Kiyo) a longboard that Tribute Boardshop is raffling off to fund the park’s construction. Tickets are $10, and are already half gone.
— image credit: Andrea Klassen photo

Last year the city’s skateboarders spent International Go Skateboarding Day parading down Baker Street, in part to urge the city to greenlight an outdoor skatepark.

This year, they’ll spend it deciding what that park will look like.

Designers from New Line Skateparks will host a workshop at the Hume Hotel this Tuesday at 7 p.m., which will start to shape the final concept for the Nelson park.

“It’s a way for people who are going to use the skatepark to have input. It’s to be inclusive,” says Kootenay Lake Outdoor Skatepark Society president Rob Levesque.

Though a preliminary park design was circulated last year, when the Nelson and District Recreation Commission was still debating whether to give the group land in the corner of the community complex parking lot, Levesque says it was never meant to be the final plan.

“What we released before was just to show the land could be used for a skatepark,” he explains. “So now we’re actually going to work on what the design’s actually going to be.”

New Line has designed and built more than 100 parks in North and South America and Europe, and Levesque suggests people check out some of those previous designs at newlineskateparks.com before coming to the workshop.

“Then come forward and say ‘hey, I like what you did in Taber, or I like what you did in this other town, or could we have this ledge here,’” he says.

Fundraising for the park also continues apace, and Levesque says people are still calling him with new ideas. At this point, he estimates the society has about 10 per cent of the $400,000 needed to start construction.

Current fundraisers include:

• Beer and burger fundraiser at Finley’s Irish Bar and Grill June 25.

• DJs Shasta, Rhapsody and Craig Mullin join forces with the Global Rhythms Dance Collection at The Royal from 9 p.m., June 24.

• Raffles by the Rotary Daybreak club, Tribute Boardshop and Ripping Giraffe (the latter is also donating 10 per cent of the proceeds from all hardgoods sales).

• Itza Pizza will donate 10 per cent of its sales today and tomorrow to the park.

“It’s going to be funded by the community. It’s for the community, so we need the community to come forward and make it happen,” says Levesque. “Anything we can do, whether it’s with restaurants or DJs or car washes. Selling pizza on the corner, busking, everything’s on the table.”

There’s also a Go Skateboarding Day parade in the works before Tuesday’s design session, though it’s not officially a Skatepark Society venture. Skaters can meet in front of the old Nelson Daily News building at 5 p.m. before cruising through the downtown.

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