An important meeting in the history of Calgary skateboarding took place at City Hall today, and it represents a significant step forward for skateboarding in our city. A committee of City Council formally received the Skateboarding Amenities Strategy, a document that makes a very strong case for more skateparks in Calgary, and recommends:
- Building 22,655m2 (243,860 ft2) of additional skatepark space to meet current needs (25,791m2 (277,607ft2) will be needed over the next 10 years)
- A network of skateparks of different sizes and styles across the city
- The skateparks be accessible by skateboarders, bmxers, inline skaters, scooters, roller skaters and longboarders.
- A 20 000 sq ft indoor skatepark
- All to be funded by a combination of City, provincial, federal, and private sector money
Download a copy of the strategy here
CASE representatives spoke in support of the Strategy, as did several members of the public. Special thanks for their contributions go out to Tyler G (youth skater), Jeff C (who at 48, skates regularly with his son), Devon R from the BMX community, Tim B from the Calgary Sport Council, Craig G from McKenzie Towne, Matt J from Evergreen, Vince B from Dalhousie Skate Church, and Oscar Fech a well known civic activist and past Mayoral candidate who all spoke strongly in favour of the strategy.
Chris H, one of the leaders behind the Fellowship of Calgary Skateboarders who pushed for the building of Shaw Millennium Park also spoke in favor of the strategy. Chris presented a document from the time when Millennium was being planned showing plans to build other skateparks in Calgary after Millennium. The plan was overlooked after the next civic election and Calgary was left with a single publicly owned skatepark. Councilor Carra proposed an amendment requiring City administration to bring this current strategy forward for review after the next election, so it would not be forgotten too. Councilor Pincott seconded the motion, which was passed.
What’s The Next Step?
Before anyone lifts a pencil to start building Calgary’s next skatepark, the strategy needs to be approved by Council, where it will probably be presented in January. Not everyone believes in skateparks, and some won’t support tax money going to these projects. Our opponents will be vocal (Calgary Herald Dec. 7/11, Calgary Sun Dec. 7/11), so we need to be sure that out voice is heard too. Please contact your City Councillor and the Mayor to express your support now, and again in the new year
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