Action Park has arrived!

This is the name of the much anticipated skateboard park which was recently installed at Lions Park, and city officials say they couldn’t be more pleased with the response.

“It is completed – it was just turned over to us Friday (June 23),” explained Regan Beck, the city’s parks and recreation manager. “We haven’t had our official grand opening for it yet, but there will be one planned. The first day we had a ramp out there, however, kids were using it. There has been lots of excitement over this one.”

The idea of establishing a skate park in Lions Park dates back several years but, according to Beck, serious efforts to get something off the ground didn’t begin until more recently.

“It started out with a local group of interested people who met to discuss the possibility of creating something like this,” he said. “The first real jump for us happened when Tolko came on board and made a huge cash donation. That really got things started.”

Around the same time, the location of the park (adjacent to the Lions Park football field) was also approved by city council, while the city was able to secure more dollars for the project from the Canadian Community Revitalization Fund (CCRF) through PrairiesCan. The CCRF was for $262,500 which was 75 per cent of the overall estimated project cost of $350,000. This left a gap of $87,500 to be covered by the city. Major donations received included the aforementioned funding from Tolko Industries ($40,000) as well as from NorSask Forest Products ($5,000).

“From there it was a matter of sending out a request for proposals to determine who would build the skate park,” Beck said. “Canadian Ramp Company was the successful bidder and away we went. We started last fall laying some pavement down. We then did some renovations to the pavement this year to make sure it was still of the quality we expected. In the last two weeks, Canadian Ramp Company was here with their ramp install crew and they put it in place rather quickly.”

Beck went on to express how satisfying it is to see young people in Meadow Lake finally enjoying a skateboard park.

“I love it,” he said. “I’m in Lions Park all the time and, on a given night, I see 20-30 kids out there. They’re loving it and the feedback has been nothing but positive.”

There is still some cleanup to do around the site in terms of making it more cosmetically pleasing.

“To me, this fits in so well in the park,” Beck said. “There aren’t too many people using bikes out there, but we will be working on something for bikes in the future. There are a lot of skateboard and scooter users out there, which is what we expected. I am super excited to see this project rolling.”

The skate park was also discussed during Monday’s (June 26) Meadow Lake city council meeting.

“I’ve driven by there and there’s lots of activity,” stated mayor Merlin Seymour. “I even walked over there about three times with my Dairy Queen coupons (which are handed out to children observed following such rules as wearing a bike helmet), but I didn’t have to give any out because nobody was wearing a helmet.”

Councillor Clay DeBray, meanwhile, said he knows of at least seven children who have already been injured at Action Park.

“One has broken a collar bone, another is missing a tooth and some are just scraped right up,” he said. “Should we have a sign that reads ‘skate at your own risk’ or some such thing?”

City manager Diana Burton said signs of this nature will be going up.

“In the interim, if something happens to someone there, are we liable?” asked councillor Conrad Read.

Burton said no, given the fact the city isn’t required to have similar warnings in place for people using public sidewalks or playing ball at Lions Park.

“The threshold of liability in The Cities Act is negligence – we would have to be proven to be negligent,” she said.

by Phil Ambroziak