By Zev Klymochko, CASE Co-Chair
It’s been one year since the Edgemont Skatepark saga. It was in July 2015 that a group of vocal, albeit uninformed residents took over their community association board for the sole purpose of preventing the skatepark. A skatepark that had been approved by the previous board and the City. Their arguments ranged from “we didn’t know” to “it will decrease property values” and “increased traffic”. One of the most heinous lies they told people when they encouraged Edgemont residents to sign their anti-skatepark petition was that the soccer field would be displaced in favour of the skatepark.
Maybe you followed what happened with the Edgemont Community Association shortly after that.
How far we’ve come in just one year. We now have three new skateparks: CKE skate spot, Huntington Hills, and Southwood. All the parks are being very well used and the city is in the midst of developing three more parks: New Brighton, Midnapore, and Deer Run. Another skatepark is slated for a yet-unannounced location in northeast Calgary.
Another big win for skateboarding in Calgary has been the abolition of the bylaw which makes ramps on private property illegal. Shortly before this the City seemed to simply do away with the bylaw prohibiting ramps on streets.
The City’s recreation department is expanding and upgrading the current mobile skatepark program. This comes as a bit of a pleasant surprise, considering there will be a skatepark in every city quadrant by the end of 2016.
We had Kyle Conway’s viral video, “So Stoked My Dudes”, which garnered international media attention.
Not specifically Calgary-related, but skateboarding will now be in the Olympics in Tokyo in 2020. No matter what your opinion is on skateboarding in the Olympics, you can’t deny that it will thrust skateboarding into the limelight even more. And Calgary is likely a prime training ground for Olympic skaters.
Calgary is really a great place to skate. Hopefully we can help make it even better. As always, we welcome your suggestions.