As summer 2019 approaches, things are rolling for the Antigonish All Wheels Skatepark.
The Antigonish Skatepark Association is working to keep those wheels greased, after seeking the input of the community in its collaboration with New Line Skateparks, in designing the park to be.
Jason Mason, a member of the Antigonish Skatepark Association, was emphatic when asked where progress is, with the skate park: “Right now, where were at is we need to fundraise, fundraise, fundraise.”
“We have been working almost three years I the background and doing everything we can to set this all up,” Mason said. “Now we need the people of Antigonish to do their part. We need the entire community to chip in.”
To this end, the Antigonish Skatepark Association has created an online donation website.
Where to donate
If you’re looking to donate to the Antigonish All Wheels Skatepark, visit https://www.canadahelps.org/en/charities/town-of-antigonish/campaign/antigonish-skateboard-park.
Mason said there is something in it for those who choose to donate, noting that by using Canadahelps.org as a host for its donations, the Antigonish Skatepark Association can offer donors a tax receipt for their donations.
“People just need to fill out the form on the website,” Mason said.
Mason stressed the need for donations, especially in light of what can be done, as far as the design of the park is concerned.
“We really want people to show up and put in the money. If we have 100 people donate $1000, we’ll have a world-class high-end super cool park,” he said.
Mason noted the goal of the current fundraising effort is to reach $167,000.
“We’re on track, and close,” Mason said. “Some will ask, ‘what if you don’t raise it all?’ We already have a skate park. We want to make it better.”
Mason explained that regardless of the fundraising outcome, a park is coming to Antigonish.
Getting to the fundraising goal the Antigonish Skatepark Association has set will make sure Antigonish gets the best possible park, with the best possible features.
“What it’s going to look like is 100 per cent dependent on the community and how much they donate,” he said. “How much the community gets involved with donation will be reflected in the park that gets built.”
Meetings and budgets
In February Newline Skateparks consulted the community for what the ideal skatepark should look like.
“They had a bunch of features, ramps and stuff and we put stickers on the stuff we liked,” Mason said. “We had conversations about the stuff we wanted to see, based on the actual budget.”
What resulted from those conversations was three drafts of what the Antigonish All Wheels Skatepark could look like, under the budget the association is working with.
The three drafts were based on submissions from the community, sketched onto a grid, showing what people are looking for in a skate park.
The design that Newline came up with, is a simple one, Mason noted – one that is proportionate to the association’s budget.
The more fundraising the association is able to accomplish, the more the park can offer.
“The meeting was about the design. Newline said, ‘we know what you guys want, but this is your actual budget right now,’” Mason said, referring to the difference between what the community wants to see, and what the association can afford with its budget.
Mason noted the park design Newline is ready to go forward with, “isn’t quite the ideal park.”
“We’re going to have to add onto it, to get to where we want it to be,” Mason said. “Our focus right now is really just getting across to people that we want them to show up and donate. If we hit that $167,000, we’re going to have an amazing park.”
If a bigger budget can be achieved, Mason said Newline will be able to work with that and build “a bigger, better park” much more in line with what the Antigonish Skatepark Association and community want to see.
“We have a park coming, but how good it is depends on the number of people that show up and donate,” Mason said.
“If we hit our goal, we’re good. If we don’t hit the goal, we’re still going to have to work toward hitting it over the years, to get the park where we expect it to be.”