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The official grand-opening of the Selwyn Skate Park in Isabel Morris Park was held on Saturday, July 1. Invited guests included federal, provincial and municipal representatives, project partners, members of the Skateboard Park Project Team and community members.
Selwyn Skate Park grand-opening ceremony
July 07, 2017
Saturday, July 1st marked the grand-opening ceremony for the Selwyn Skateboard Park. The event began at 3:00 pm at Isabel Morris Park in Lakefield, where the skatepark is located. The park features a ‘half-pipe’, four (4) ‘quarter pipes’, ‘rails’ and ‘grind boxes’; and is suitable for skateboarders, BMX bikers, scooter users and inline skaters. Access to the skateboard park will be available at no-charge and promotes healthy active living to both the residents and visitors of Selwyn Township.
Though it seems like a recent development, the construction of a skateboard park in Lakefield has been of interest to the public, especially the youth of the Township of Selwyn and Council, since 2007! But things kicked into high gear in 2013, when the Township received funding from the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Sport (MCTS) towards the Youth “Can Do” initiative. As part of this project, youth of the Township were brought together and developed their leadership, project management and problem-solving skills while also designing a skateboard park for Isabel Morris Park in Lakefield, with the guidance of Township staff. Many of the youth from this group even went on to become members of the Skateboard Park Project Team!
Of course, the completion of the Selwyn Skateboard Park would not be possible without our partners who donated funds, their time and resources to make this project a success. $86,048 in funding has been received from the Canada 150 Community Infrastructure Program through the Government of Canada’s Federal Economic Development Agency of Southern Ontario; $55,000 from the Ontario Trillium Foundation; $5,000 from the TD Friends of the Environment Foundation; and over $46,000 in corporate and community funding, both in-kind and monetary!
The event commenced by welcoming federal, provincial and municipal representatives, project partners, members of the Skateboard Park Project Team and community members. Mayor Mary Smith addressed the crowd of over 80 community members stating “We are here today not only to celebrate Canada’s 150th Anniversary but also the opening of the new state-of-the-art Selwyn Skateboard Park. The idea of a skateboard park in the Township has been discussed for many years! Youth in the area were in search of a place to gather, be active and socialize – thanks to the Project Team, which included local youth; we now have a skateboard park that provides just that.”
MP Maryam Monsef brought greetings from the Federal Government noting “Our natural heritage and plentiful outdoor opportunities are one of the best parts of living in Canada. As celebrate 150 years since Confederation, it is fitting that we are creating new places for people - especially our youth - to gather and stay active outside. With this $86,048 contribution from the Canada 150 Community Infrastructure Program, I know that the Selwyn Skateboard Park has already become another reason to come together in Lakefield.”
Participants also heard from Dan and Shawn Jakins, local youth and members of the Skateboard Park Project Team who have been involved in the project since its early beginnings. Speeches were followed by a ceremonial ribbon-cutting!