Community action on skatepark

Kody and Brock hope a temporary skatepark will be built in Emerald. 250573_06 Photo: STEWART CHAMBERS

By Shelby Brooks

The idea for a pop-up skate park in Emerald has gained huge support from the community, with $5000 raised so far to get the plan off the ground.

Vanessa Kewish, the mother of two skate loving sons, is hoping the old netball courts in Emerald could host a temporary skate park.

“My kids are in a funny age group where they don’t want to go to the ‘baby’ playgrounds but also aren’t ready for a real BMX track,” Vanessa said.

“And the kids need to get out of the house during lockdown in a Covid safe way.”

There are plans to build a permanent skate park in Emerald as part of the hub works, however Vanessa said it was important to get something for the interim.

She’s identified someone who builds semi-permanent skateparks who she hopes they can hire.

“We need something for our kids now and not five, six, seven years from now,“ she said.

“We need to come to council with a few dollars behind us to show that we are serious about this project. The project cost is $25k, but if we can get to half of that as a community then I think we’re in with a fighting chance.“

Ranges Ward councillor Jeff Springfield said it was great to see community led action.

“I’m very supportive of community advocating for facilities they want,“ he said.

“If the community can drive a temporary skate facility, especially for kids during lockdown, that would be a fantastic idea.“

A council spokesperson said a number of upgrades to parks and reserves were planned for Emerald.

“A new masterplan for the Emerald Lake Precinct will commence this financial year while a new playspace for Pepi’s Land is set to be constructed next financial year. A new skate park and playspace at the library at Worrell Reserve will be delivered as part of the masterplan in the near future in line with Council budget allocation,“ they said.

“In addition to the planned park and reserves works, the council often receives ideas from the community to consider as part of its future planning, including requests to install skate parks across the shire. Any proposals received are assessed in line with the council’s plans and budgetary constraints.“

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