Are Skatepark Staff Needed in Calgary?

Do you think Calgary’s skateparks should have staff?

The mobile skateparks are staffed, Westside Rec Centre skatepark has staff, and Millennium Park had staff from the time it opened in 1999 until 2008.

The word “staff” can give the wrong impression. These aren’t “park narcs” that will tell you to put your helmet on or stop swearing. The staff at Millennium Park were all skaters and loved skating at Millennium. They had access to the small office in the building at in the middle of the park. There, they replaced bearings and hardware, tightened/loosened trucks, and did first aid for minor injuries. Usually they had extra helmets and wax for whomever needed them. Most of the staff were quick to grab their broom and dustpan and sweep out areas where debris blew in– before the Parks staff got there. They also called 911 in the rare case it was needed.

millennium-t-shirt

Another function of the Millennium skatepark staff at was to record how many people were using each area of the park: beginner, intermediate, expert, and general observers. This was done hourly. These statistics are valuable as they actually show how well-used the skatepark is.

Perhaps the most important job of the “skatepark hosts” was educating users and observers. Whether it was telling someone why they shouldn’t sit on a ledge or spit where everyone stands, the hosts made a difference. Etiquette was at the forefront of their duties, including teaching newer users the flow of the park and how to take turns. Novice users would be directed to beginner areas where they could hone their skills at an appropriate level. We know that the Millennium skatepark staff taught more than a handful of skaters how to drop in.

They also taught observers about the history of the park and even helped introduce some of them to skateboarding.

Let us know: should Millennium and the newer skateparks have staff?

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