Calgary announces three new skateparks
There are about 50,000 wheeled sport participants, including BMX and skateboarders in Calgary.
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Construction has begun on three new skateparks in Calgary. One will serve the areas of Chinook Park, Kelvin Grove and Eagle Ridge. The other two will be built in Huntington Hills and Southwood respectively.
Officials expect to complete construction by late fall.
The city currently only has one permanent skate park, Shaw Millennium Park.
“Currently in the city, there are about 50,000 wheeled sport participants, including BMX and skateboarders,” said Thomas Hansen, manager of capital and asset management in Calgary recreation. “These parks will begin to address the gap in facilities within the city and the number of participants.”
Zev Klymochko, co-chair of the Calgary Association of Skateboarding Enthusiasts, said skateboarders often leave to city to visit skateparks in smaller communities like Cochrane, Airdrie and Strathmore.
“All these smaller centres have really nice modern skateparks that are well-designed, easily accessible,” Klymochko said. “It’ll be really nice that we don’t have to drive half-an-hour to an hour to access modern skatepark terrain. We’ll have it right in our city.”
Klymochko said it’s a step in the right direction to catch up with cities like Edmonton, Winnipeg and Vancouver, which larger have a much larger network of skateparks.
For families and youth, skateparks offer a safe area to get into the unstructured sport. Greg Fines, a Calgary parent who often skateboards with his wife and three children, said it makes the sport more accessible to kids who don’t want to be caught on the sidewalk or in traffic.
“When finding your own place, you’re usually not welcome to roll up and skateboard,” he said. “Some people are worried that it leaves marks behind, it’s destructive to property. So, the skatepark is designed for that purpose and it’s contained. That seems to make everyone else more comfortable.”
This is only phase one of the city’s plans to build more skateparks. Officials say they are talking with community associations to choose locations for the next phase, which includes areas in the northeast.