Woolwich & Wellesley Township's Local Community Newspaper | Elmira, Ontario, Canada

You want a little more local in your inbox.

The last seven days of local community news delivered to your inbox. Stay caught up on the latest local reporting with The Observer This Week. Every Thursday.

Enter your email to subscribe. Unsubscribe anytime. We may send promotional messages. Please read our privacy policy.

Skate Elmira seeking public input on proposed park

As anyone who has ever put their feet on a skateboard can attest, wheels just don’t travel well on grass. That’s one reason why on February 28, the youth-led group Skate Elmira is holding a public consultation to solicit opinions about a proposed Elmira skate park, which the group hopes to have built by the end of 2014.

At the meeting, the group will introduce the public to four locations where the park could be built, including the one heavily favoured, Bristow Park. Skate Elmira believes the Bristow location is large enough and well-situated to be the most beneficial option for the community.

With support from Woolwich council, Skate Elmira hopes to have a skate park built in the township by the end of 2014. Kyle Wilton, the 16-year-old who launched the initiative, had been joined by Robin Hansford, Luke Frey, Zack Krasovec, Zack Barriage, David Paisley and Dustin Martin.[will sloan / the observer]
With support from Woolwich council, Skate Elmira hopes to have a skate park built in the township by the end of 2014. Kyle Wilton, the 16-year-old who launched the initiative, had been joined by Robin Hansford, Luke Frey, Zack Krasovec, Zack Barriage, David Paisley and Dustin Martin. [will sloan / the observer]
Skate Elmira was conceived two years ago by 16-year-old Kyle Wilton, who tried to generate interest when he was only in the ninth grade. “I’ve been skateboarding for a long time, and I thought it would be a great idea to have a skate park in Elmira,” said Wilton, who usually travels as far as Guelph.

Wilton pitched a skate park to council, but as he remembered, “When it was just a group of us kids and we were in Grade 9, it was really difficult, because they kinda just looked at you like, ‘What can you do to really get that going?’” But Wilton found an adult ally in Robin Hansford, who handles fundraising for the group, and Dustin Martin and David Paisley, two Elmira residents in their twenties who have become Skate Elmira co-chairs.

“We knew that this was an idea that a lot of the youth in the town had tossed around for years,” said Martin. “And we figured, we’re at an age now when we can push these things through, so we decided to try to give it some legs.”

To have the park built by the end of 2014, Skate Elmira needs to raise $500,000. The group hopes to generate money through private donations, provincial recreation programs, and corporate sponsorships (the name of the park is up for grabs). The fundraising campaign is scheduled to begin in June.

While the skate park is not an official township project, Woolwich council has offered to lend support and resources. “I’ve been a big supporter of Skate Elmira since day one of their journey and I will continue to assist them and advocate on their behalf,” said Mayor Todd Cowan in a statement.

“It is our hope that the township will designate township-owned land so there won’t be a cost associated with that,” said Hansford. “The $500,000 will pay for a contractor to build the park, and then we will gift the park back to the township.”

The proposed park will encompass more than just skateboarding: the space will also double as an outdoor concert arena and a skating rink in the winter.

But what, exactly, are the benefits of putting your child on a wheeled board that your anxious mother might have warned you against? “It gets kids out there,” said Zack Krasovec, who works on Skate Elmira’s promotion. “If they’re not into team sports, they can get out there skateboarding. And with a facility like a skate park, you’ll get more kids outside more often.”

Skate Elmira’s public consultation will take place on February 28 at 7:30 p.m. at Woolwich Memorial Centre.

A little more local for your inbox.

Seven days. One newsletter. Local reporting about people and places you
won't find anywhere else. Stay caught up with The Observer This Week.

Enter your email to subscribe. Unsubscribe anytime. We may send you promotional messages.
Please read our privacy policy.

  1. if it’s not a trend, then it’s a niche market, and only serves one demographic – mostly white youth (12-20ish), who are male. There is no backwards thinking as it was suggested that a mobile skate park would be a better answer (and could be accessible to all in Woolwich, not just those youth in Elmira). Yes, the ones in Kitchener are always in use and the one in Waterloo has been mobile and I believe this will be the first season that Waterloo’s has it as a permanent fixture. So the region has met the needs of skateboarders between the ages of 12-20, but you don’t see this activity being advertised to the entire population such as how other programming can; there is an inherent risk and that risk is not what most individuals want. Adults and Seniors are not going to pick this activity up, and it’s more of an individual activity, so I don’t see 20-30yr olds diving into this niche activity. I do not understand your negative attitude bob, as I have a background that would prove what I am saying, and yes, I can enjoy skateboarding, but why do we have to waste money on a need that has already been met by many facilities in the Waterloo region? Mobile skatepark is the best option at this point instead of wasting a lot of resources on 1 boys dream that will raise tax payers and facility user fees all around. You will see when you taxes increase, or when the Township starts expecting users to pay $10 or more per class for it’s recreational programming what I’m talking about. Or how about when injuries occur and those youths parents, sue the Township? Ever thought about how lawsuits get dealt with — well you’ll find your taxes increasing again, and facility user fees increasing all in a way for the Township to recoup it’s legal battles.

  2. Skateboarding is hardly a trend, its been around for more than 30 years! Its clearly not going to go away. This sort of backward thinking can only hold Elmira back. You need to realize that Skateboarding is only on the rise and this is an area that will see consistent use. I don’t know if you’ve ever driven by the one in Waterloo or Kitchener, but they are ALWAYS in use.

  3. The proposed “outdoor concert arena and a skating rink in the winter”, are great ideas! However, skate boarding is plentiful in the region and there are so many options for youth. I understand the popularity of this activity, and there will always be skateboarders, however in 10 years, the concrete jungle will be empty or close to empty and the township will have wasted an opportunity to really create something that will last and create sustainable programs; skateboarding is not sustainable as it’s a trend. For example, snow boarding is also a very similar activity, but we don’t see all kinds of hills being opened up or built to snow boarders and I really can only think of one location in the area where this activity takes place. So I don’t understand why we need a dozen skateboard parks – maybe this young gentleman should look at the portable skate parks which won’t use up township land, and can be placed in the empty parking lot at the WMC. The WMC is often empty and has the space for a portable skate park.

  4. While completely onboard with the idea…Bristow Park is NOT a location that I will support. It’s smack-dab in the middle of a residential area with working families reering small children, etc. Something of this magnitude should be abstracted from residences and moved to an area that offers a little more seclusion. Something along the lines of Lions Park or Bowlander Park.

Comments are closed.

Related Posts
Read the full story

MVC Floradale road and Listowel road

A collision between a transport truck and a car at Floradale road and Listowel road Friday morning (July…
Read the full story

Motorcycle and Horse-drawn buggy MVC

A motorcycle collided with a horse-drawn buggy on Church Street in Elmira Wednesday morning, sending one person to…