Petition against Vanderhoof skateboard park proposed site

A petition was submitted to the District of Vanderhoof on Apr. 6 against the proposed skateboard park site.

Skateboard park designers proposed a moonscape-shaped organic flow design.

Skateboard park designers proposed a moonscape-shaped organic flow design.

A petition signed by 35 residents in homes and organizations around Ferland Park was submitted to the District of Vanderhoof on Apr. 6 against the proposed skateboard park.

“We, the undersigned, residents of Vanderhoof who surround Ferland Park object to the plans to build a skateboard park in or around Ferland Park,” the petition states. “We are not against a Skateboard Park we just feel that there are areas in Vanderhoof that are better suited.

“Ferland is a wonderful park the way it is. We love the music in the park, farmers market and all the young children playing in the spray park.

“We ask that the Vanderhoof Village Council 1) reject this proposed plan, and 2) fully consult with local residents surrounding Ferland Park on any future proposals.”

Noise, safety, and age-appropriate sensitivity were some of the concerns expressed by residents through social media regarding the proposed skateboard park.

The current preferred site for the project is the playground area in Ferland Park’s southeast corner, said Councillor Steve Little, who co-chairs the District of Vanderhoof’s skateboard park committee with Councillor Ken Young.

Last October, the District of Vanderhoof hosted consultation meetings between contracted designers and Vanderhoof’s skateboarders, as well as locating three potential sites for the skateboard park: empty lots behind the District of Vanderhoof office, grass area by Nechako Valley Secondary’s tennis courts, or a location in Ferland Park.

Little explains that the location is chosen for four reasons: it’s the only District-owned property, there are existing contours and slopes for a free-flow park design, some nearby residents available for help in the event of injuries, and conveniently close to the future recreation centre.

If the location is selected, the existing playground equipment — due for renewal — would be moved to a new location in the park, Little added.

The preferred site has no official approval from the district council so far, and further questions about the project would be answered in a community meeting on April 19, Little said.

Taking place at 6:30 p.m. at the Nechako Seniors Friendship Centre on Victoria Street, the community meeting will also include an open forum on the July 1 cardboard ban from Vanderhoof’s transfer station, as well as updates on the Vanderhoof Aquatic Centre and the Integris Recreation Centre.