The County of St. Paul has agreed to contribute $30,000 to the St. Paul BMX & Skate Park Initiative. After hearing the Town promised $30,000 to the park, the County quickly matched the donation at Tuesday’s Council meeting. Dan Reid, with the initiative says the group went from $20,000 to $80,000 in two weeks thanks to the two municipalities, “it’s awesome!”
“We’re ecstatic, of course. That doubles what the Town did,” Dan says there’s a chance the money could be doubled again through a Canada 150 Municipal Infrastructure Grant the group has gone after. The grant, allowed them some time to go after municipal funding, so immediately following the County’s announcement of the commitment, Dan was able to forward the good news onto the grant officers. “It goes a long way.”
There’s a few requirements to secure the grant
- has to target recreation in the community
- it has to be a new structure (not improvements to an existing recreational facility)
- one it should be environmentally friendly
- it should benefit the indigenous communities
The St. Paul BMX & Skate Park Initiative meets all those requirements and has received a letter from Saddle Lake First Nations affirming that the structure will benefit the neighbouring indigenous community; notably, the youths. “All of those things are viewed in high regard by the Government of Canada when they review the grant applications.”
The group will be hosting a public forum in mid-to-late-August to determine exact placement for the park. “We need to nail down where the community feels it’ll fit best, then we need to start working on the design and with Newline (Skate Parks Inc).” The group has a few ideas where the skate park would go, but they want to make sure the community, especially the youth, the people who will be using it, agree with the placement. It’s important that the youth are able to easily access the skate park, so the goal would be to place it in the most central area to the youths. The Town has already agreed to lease the land to the park, for free, if the chosen location is on Town owned land. The Town will also maintain the park.
The next goal for the group is to secure the remainder of the funding. They will be approaching non-profits known for helping out community projects like this; such as, the Elks & Lions. They also hope to receive more corporate sponsorships. What’s really cool about becoming a sponsor is not only are you helping the youth in the community be your business will be etched in the concrete structure, forever displaying your contribution to the park. For sponsorship opportunities, visit the St. Paul BMX & Skate Park Initiative on Facebook, visit Dan or Kurt at Bear’s BMX or call Dan 780-645-1646.
“Mental health is a big issue for our youngsters, it’s a delicate age. You’re trying to figure yourself out, find out where you fit in life and what you want to do. There’s a lot of stress in your life at that age, a lot of change going on.” Dan says helping the youth community is a driving force in his commitment to seeing this project through, “it’s good to have an outlet, to push all of those things out of your mind and focus on pure thoughts and moving forward.”
The group is pleased to announce that thanks to the Canada Day BBQ they were able to raised over $1600. Special thanks to the Town’s Recreation Department who purchased the supplies.
*LCN will keep the public posted on the date of the public forum to determine the location of the skate park.