New skatepark receives mostly positive user reviews

Rylan Dodman, 10, says Sylvan Lake’s new skatepark is “amazing,” a statement his friend Darian Zager, 12, agrees with.

Rylan Dodman, 10, says Sylvan Lake’s new skatepark is “amazing,” a statement his friend Darian Zager, 12, agrees with.

“The material is really smooth. If you fall it doesn’t scrape as much,” said Darian. He added that it has lots of jumps and space.

Both Rylan and Darian use the park every day, and say it is a vast improvement over the town’s previous facility. The old park was made from metal and asphalt, which they say was too bumpy and often too hot, and lacking in a variety of jumps.

The new park’s location also received praise. Rylan said it was close to where he and his friends lived. Brynn Appell, 12, added that, with nearby stores and a baseball diamond, there were lots of things to do in the area.

Despite their praise, Rylan and Darian said there were a few things they didn’t like about the park. Chief among them was the park’s “fish hook.” The hook rises out of the park’s concrete, and is shaped like a large metal candy cane. Rylan said it gets in the way, and he has to swerve to avoid it because it’s too skinny for him to ride up. Only skateboards can use the hook, he said, and the majority of people in the park are on bikes.

Rylan, who uses a bike and a scooter, also dislikes how scooters are not allowed in the park.

Brynn, who prefers to observe the park’s action, said she would like more shade, in the form of trees or a concrete wall.

According to Joanne Gaudet, communications officer for the Town of Sylvan Lake, the Recreation and Parks Department has found a lot of garbage in the skatepark as well.

“They’re having a really hard time convincing the kids to actually use the garbage receptacles,” said Gaudet. “That would be our main focus, just to emphasize respect for their area.” She added that the town has not seen any graffiti in the park.

Gaudet said there have been public reports of some of the park’s users jumping off the tops of storage sheds in the area and performing tricks. To prevent this, she said, the sheds will be moved.