Skatepark support disappoints

A city of 10,000 and a very small number showing support for Nelson’s Skatepark in the Aviva Support Your Community Contest.

A city of 10,000 and a very small number showing support for Nelson’s Skatepark in the Aviva Support Your Community Contest.

I’ve sent many emails out recently on the topic of the Aviva Community Contest in which our local Nelson skatepark idea is a contender. A winning spot in the contest would result in $100,000 to $150,000 towards the construction of the proposed skatepark. I decided I needed to expand my reach even further hence this letter to the editor.

Currently, the competition is in its third round of voting which started on November 14 and lasts 15 days. You need to vote daily. The top 90 ideas will move into the finalists round (which starts December 5 and ends December 16) and from that pile, only the top 30 ideas with the most votes will be chosen to move into the judging phase. If we make it that far it will be a miracle. I say this because the competition has received little exposure and even less attraction, interest, or input since the doors opened on September 26.

The results of round 2 voting left us in 24th position in the large funding category. The first position idea had 8,808 votes. Our lowly vote count accumulated over those 15 days was equal to about 236 people voting daily. That’s a pretty poor turnout in my opinion.

The Nelson skatepark is an amenity that would be used by hundreds of people in the Nelson area alone, never mind those coming to our city from the outskirts and/or the tourists with children visiting plus those that will be driving right by the site at the NDCC as they travel on through. What a plus for Nelson. As a thriving, vibrant, active community, we should be able to easily triple or quadruple that vote count.

I don’t skateboard and neither do my own two teenagers, however we know many kids who do and I would love nothing more than to see them outside showing off their talents and all of us enjoying the show as spectators.

Where are all the people who are so active and vocal about health, activity and sportsmanship in this community? Where are all the supporters of hockey, skating, skiing and soccer? Where are all the business owners that would support Nelson hosting a skateboard competition every summer?

Where are all the people who’ve been in contact, discussion and planning for this park over the past 10 years? Why is it that this sport feels so unsupported, unloved and under-appreciated in Nelson? Just because I don’t do something doesn’t mean I don’t love and support that others do!

I am passionate about children being given every opportunity to do what they love. I’ve lived in this incredible proactive city for over 25 years, but I have to say now that I’m very disappointed in the lack of interest this project has received (online and off) and the years it has taken for Nelson’s youth to have a shot at such a park.

I think it’s rather pathetic if truth be told so I’m really hoping this letter becomes an inspiration to hundreds if not thousands of people to register on the Aviva website and cast their votes today and every day for the duration of the competition. Yes, it’s a little like running a marathon, having to vote every single day, but I can assure you it’s a lot less tiring.

And for all of you thinking you don’t have the time, I say this: as a taxpayer, I would rather contribute my time to the contest as opposed to contributing, once again, from my wallet. As well, for the majority who visit Facebook daily, just take an extra minute and do something wonderful for your community. They’ve even integrated the site with Facebook’s voting app found here:

To view full details of the proposed Nelson skatepark in the competition, visit:

If you’d like to see some of the projects currently underway by the designers of our proposed park, visit New Line SkateParks and get a feel for what the park might look like day or night:

Thanks for listening, and please vote!

Leica Nelson



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