Nelson skateboarders will be getting a peek on Tuesday of what the city’s outdoor skatepark might look like.
New Line Skateparks, which is designing the facility, will be presenting its first draft at the Hume Hotel.
“These guys have been building parks for I don’t know, 10 years now or something,” said Rob Levesque.
“They’re one of the world powers as far as skateparks building goes. They have parks in Sweden, Mexico, all over the States, and mainly Canada. They have all that history so they know what they’re doing. They took all the input from Nelson and they went back to their drawing board.”
Skateboarders and other interested members of the community met with New Line three months ago and had a design workshop.
“I do know that we stressed that we would like to have an artistic angle to our park. We’d like it to reflect Nelson that way so we’d like to see it have some art influence,” said Levesque.
This will be the first time Levesque has seen the design for the park, but he suspects it will be pretty standard.
“There will be a bowl like most skateparks and New Line normally has really cool bowls. And there will probably be a really cool street section,” he said.
One of the major challenges for the project has been finding a location.
“There is a real lack of available land that’s suitable for a skatepark in Nelson,” said Levesque.
The group finally found a home for the skatepark behind the Chamber of Commerce near the Nelson and District Community Complex.
Levesque said the Nelson park will be about the same size as the Castlegar park.
In the hunt for a location, the skateboarders encountered “a bit of nimby-ism” (not in my backyard).
“Everyone seems to support the skatepark but there were issues about Lakeside Park,” said Levesque. “Some user groups down there were concerned about parking and all these kinds of issues. I tried to be the nice guy throughout all of this. I didn’t want to call people out.”
Once the draft is presented, the main goal of the outdoor skateboard project will be to raise funds.
“With this presentation it’s an ongoing document — we call it a living document. We’re going to put in input and they’re going to continue to change it until we like it,” said Levesque. “Having the design is a great tool for fundraising because it gives the community and anyone we go talk to about this something to see.”
Part of the fundraising includes participating in the Aviva Community Fund.
“We participated in the Aviva Fund last year and we made it all the way to the end. It was pretty crazy, but when we made it to the stages of the judges deciding, they didn’t give us any cash,” said Levesque.
“If we can do it again hopefully we could win up to $150,000 for our project so it’s definitely worthwhile. What we need people to do is go on avivacommunityfund.org, and then you do this whole sign-up process and once you do that you can vote and you get one vote a day for 10 days. Basically the idea is the most votes win.”
The first draft will be presented at 7 p.m. on Tuesday in the Hume room at the Hume Hotel.
If you want to get involved with the outdoor skatepark project, contact Levesque at email@example.com.