After months of waiting, the City of West Kelowna’s new skatepark was unveiled on Sept. 22.
During an official ribbon-cutting ceremony, West Kelowna’s city councillors celebrated the new park. Westbank First Nation (WFN) councillor Jordan Coble also attended the ceremony.
“On behalf of Westbank First Nation, I just want to express our gratitude for the continued efforts to recreate our relationships together,” he said.
“I think the word recreate is part of the word recreation and that’s what our communities are focused on right now: is understanding how we interact with one another.”
Mayor Gord Milsom expressed his excitement on the opening of the new skatepark, saying that he and council members have heard positive feedback so far.
“The skating community has been involved from the get-go. They helped give input as far as the design, so they know what’s been going on,” he said.
“I’ve just heard good things from our staff and from people, and they said they’re really enjoying it so we’re pleased. It seems like it’s a success.”
The new skatepark’s features include:
- A mini ramp at one end of the smaller bowl
- Open entrance to the bowls for better flow and safer crossings
- An “island” feature to allow looping circulation
- Bank features for variety and to maintain skateboard flow
- Flexible space to accommodate recreation and cultural programming; the space can also serve as an overflow area when not in use
- Seating areas and bottle filling station
Now that the new skatepark is finished, the old one will be decommissioned to prepare for the construction of the city’s new city hall and library facility. The city added that a public opening event is in the works for 2022, but the event is dependent on public health restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Milsom also surprised the crowd, tasking the parks and recreation department to come up with a contest in partnership with the Okanagan Regional Library and WFN to give away a trio of skateboards and helmets through a youth contest. The specifics of the contest will be announced at a later date.
Once complete, the city hall and library will be adjacent to the new skatepark.