Parks and Recreation Director Abby Fortune joined municipal councillors Randy Oliwa and Sally Mole to celebrate the start of Ucluelet’s new skate park addition on Monday. (Andrew Bailey - Photo)

Ucluelet’s skate park under enhancement

Construction starts on $115,000 addition.

A popular feature within Ucluelet’s recreational landscape is under enhancement.

Ukee’s skate bowl closed on May 15 and is expected to reopen in June with a new, $115,000, street-style addition.

The new section was designed by NewLine Skate Parks Inc., which also designed the original bowl, and Transition Construction is signed on to build it.

The work is being paid for through a $61,000 Canada 150 Community Infrastructure Grant with the rest coming from Ucluelet’s Resort Municipality Initiative funding, according to the district’s Director of Parks and Recreation Abby Fortune.

Fortune told the Westerly News the bowl will remain untouched and that a street-style section has long been planned as a complement to it.

“It enhances the ability to do different types of skating within the area,” she said adding the new features will broaden the skill-level and age-range that the facility can cater to.

She said public input was a key piece of the new section’s design and she was delighted to see a dedicated working group, comprised of a wide range of ages and skill levels, come together to offer feedback that ensured the finished product is conducive to what locals want to see.

“They have just been phenomenal…This is very much a community design, “she said.

“We’ve had a strong group of younger kids and adults who have been involved with this right from square one. We’ve had a lot of input sessions where we’ve dreamed big and then looked at what we could do with the grant and what we could do with New Line [and] we’ve had great back and forth with New Line..It’s been incredible.”

She added the new addition will open up more opportunities for her department’s recreational programming and will also serve as a valuable drop-in space that encourages outdoor activity.

“Recreation is not just programming, it’s having facilities with which you can create your own recreation,” she said.

She added unstructured play opportunities are as important to provide as structured ones.

“Especially when you’ve got that 12-20 age group that don’t necessarily want to be programmed, but want to be active. This gives them an opportunity to do just that.”

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