Skaterboarders of all ages attend the Sylvan Lake Skate Park throughout the warmer months of the year to practice new tricks and techniques. File Photo

Sense of community still in the works for Sylvan Lake Skate Park

The Town is planing events and compititions around the skate park to help foster a community feel

For the last year the Town of Sylvan Lake has been working with residents to find a community for the skate park.

Last year concerns were brought to Council by parents about “bullying, unacceptable language and unacceptable music” and a report was presented which led to Council to motion administration to engage with the public on the topic.

On June 6, the first engagement session of 2019 was held, with one other held in October, 2018.

The engagement session saw a large number of people coming, an estimate 100 people were present for the event, however only 19 surveys were filled out.

For Coun. Megan Chernoff Hanson, this means Council and administration needs to find a new way of seeking feedback from the user group.

“I think it is great that we are asking the kids who use the skate park their thoughts, but with only 19 responses maybe we should look at the way we are asking them,” she said, adding a paper and pencil survey may not connect with the group.

Lee Furlotte, parks manager, said the response was OK but more was expected.

In December an action plan was created for the skate park, which the Town hopes will create a sense of community around the skate park.

As part of the action plan new signs will be installed and a positive messaging campaign is already underway.

Furlotte says he sees the messaging campaign has already had a positive impact.

“I think it has helped give a sense of ownership to the users. We are already seeing people stepping up,” he said.

The Town is also planning more events around the skate park to further the involvement and community feel there. Competitions are planned, though no dates for the competitions have been finalized as of yet. However, Furlotte says they are expected to be held in August and September.

Skateboard programs for beginner and intermediate boarders are also planned throughout the fall as well.

In September, administration will present a “Skate Park Season in Review” to Council, which will further detail the impact the action plan has had on behaviour and involvement at the park.

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