The Village of Telkwa opened its first and only skatepark this summer and council is now considering making it a permanent fixture for skateboarders to use year-round.
The park, temporarily located at the Dockrill Memorial Rink, cost an estimated $9,000 with funding from the Wetzin’Kwa Community Forest Corp. and supplies from the Smithers Lumber Yard and Driftwood Diamond Drilling.
According to Coun. Rick Fuerst, who sits on the special projects portfolio with the village, the skatepark is already getting a lot of use.
“It looks like the kids are really enjoying it and it’s a nice feature for the rink,” he said.
“In Telkwa, we don’t have the luxury of being able to build large facilities — we have limited budgets. So I thought this was a really neat community problem-solving thing to get this done for the kids.”
The wood park was built and designed last winter by Robb Nisbet and features a 12-foot-wide, six-foot-high quarterpipe at one end, an eight-foot flat bank, a multi-level pyramid with ledges and wave ramps.
“[It] lets kids experience a bit of everything you would find in a more elaborate skate park — transitions, curved transitions, wedge-style ramps that you can ride over and just to introduce them to what it feels like to slide a curve,” said Nisbet, adding that local skateboarders helped assemble it earlier this season.
Fuerst noted that Nisbet’s design also allows them to expand the park if necessary.
“There are other features that we could add to it. That’s the great thing about Robb Nisbet’s design — he’s designed a few of these so he has some great ideas for different features we could add to it later,” he said.
“It’s a modular thing. It’s meant to be taken apart and put away for the winter so you can add pieces to it later as they demand it.”
Riders are able to make use of the ramps until late fall before it is put back in storage for the winter.
As for the potential construction of a permanent skatepark, Fuerst said council is taking a wait-and-see approach.
“It all comes down to what the community wants. If there’s an appetite for doing that in the future, it’s something we’ll have to talk about as a community and decide if that’s something we want to do,” he said, adding there is potentially space at the barbecue grounds or along Hankin Avenue to build a permanent skate park.
The next phase of the project is to fundraise an additional $4,000 to purchase and ship a durable surface to put over the ramps, which will help extend its life.
“I hope that it creates a place where kids can go and have some safe fun in Telkwa,” said Fuerst.
“It adds to that feeling of community in the downtown area which we’re trying to create. If parents can spend some time down there with their kids and watch the kids do their tricks, I think it just adds a nice feature to downtown Telkwa.”