A skater’s paradise in Ucluelet

Federal funding en route to expand Ukee’s skate park.

Ucluelet is getting ready to roll out a $120,000 addition to its local skate park.

Ukee’s skate bowl was built in 2008 and a street-style section was always part of the plan but the district needed to save up, and wait for a government grant, before moving ahead, according to the district’s director of parks and recreation Abby Fortune.

This wait is now over as Ucluelet efficiently pounced on the federal government’s recently announced Canada 150 Grant opportunities.

“We picked the skateboard park because it was a project that we had on the back burner for a bit and that we could do matching funds on,” Fortune said. “This would just add a whole other element and diversity to the bowl.”

The Canada 150 Grant will provide $60,950, which the district will match, to transform roughly 2,000 sq. ft. of land surrounding the bowl into a street-style skate park by 2017.

The $120,000 project will kick off with public consultations this fall to help the district get its bearings on what the skate park’s new addition should look like.

Anyone wanting to be involved in the process is encouraged to contact Fortune at 250-726-7772 or afortune@ucluelet.ca.

“It’s not going to be an overnight thing but we really want public consultation on this,” Fortune said. “We are going to want to put a committee together for this project and if anyone’s interested please let me know.”

The skate park’s new addition will add to the budding haven of outdoor recreation around Ucluelet’s community centre as a new outdoor volleyball court and improved bike park are currently being installed across the street.

“We continue to try to develop this area as the hub for the community,” Fortune said.

“Whether it be standalone outdoor recreation, or whether it be programming within the centre, this is an area where people can gather and that’s really, really, important to us.”

The government’s Canada 150 Grants are expected to provide $150 million worth of funding over the next two years in honour of Canada’s 150th birthday in 2017.

“The Canada 150 Community Infrastructure Program will help fund renovations, expansions and rehabilitations to existing infrastructure that provides community and cultural benefits for the public,” according to a Government of Canada media release.

 

andrew.bailey@westerlynews.ca

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