Orangeville Council responds to local boy’s skateboard park request

January 21, 2022   ·   0 Comments

By Sam Odrowski

Council responded to a local 10-year-old boy’s letter to the Town, requesting a new skate park at Kin Family Park, during a regular meeting last Monday (Jan. 10).

Matthew Brown’s letter, dated Dec. 26, notes that the only local skate park is Rotary Park, and with him living on Courtney Crescent, it is a long and dangerous way there, with all the traffic in town.

“There is nothing in our area for us to go to because you have to cross busy roads,” he wrote in his letter. “I think the skate park would be used a lot and enjoyed by many kids in our area.”

When going through the correspondence on Council’s Jan. 10 agenda, Coun. Todd Taylor took a moment to acknowledge the letter and said he was pleased to see it come up.

“I was so impressed that he would take the initiative to A) write elected officials within the town and B) to come forward with ideation on what he thinks might make our town better,” Coun. Taylor remarked.

“I think it behooves us to ask Mr. Osmond or Mr. Brennan, what their thoughts are, and speak to this at this time. I know there’s not a short-term plan, but I think he deserves an answer.”

Orangeville’s general manager of community services, Ray Osmond said the letter is appreciated and Matthew likely shares the sentiment of many other young men in Town who would like to see a skateboard park in other parts of the community, aside from Rotary Park.

“Having said that, this came up in the 2020 Master Plan and in actual fact, the size and the features that are equipped at the existing skate park are within the standard for a town this size,” Osmond noted. “So having said that, we have had some discussions in recent years, last couple years actually, with some skateboarders about the idea of skate spots. What skate spots means is that we would actually incorporate a smaller skate park area within a park environment.”

This would look like a few 20 by 40-foot paved areas where mobile pieces of skate park equipment are set up and exchanged periodically. This could occur at existing parks in town where there’s already paved areas or a multipurpose court, according to Osmond.

“That is something we’re looking at pursuing and you will probably see it show up in the 2023 Budget, but we are also looking at it in other ways – we’re doing some park design. So it is something that is needed, I think, and the young gentleman Matthews does make a great point,” said Osmond, who also noted he intends to respond to Matthews letter with him directly.

Coun. Joe Andrews had the last word on the item, who thanked Matthew for submitting his request.

“I think all of us were taken aback, and it’s absolutely wonderful to see someone step forward, and someone who has a passion for skateboarding to echo their thoughts to members of council,” he remarked.

“It was just really one of those very special letters that we ended up receiving as part of our correspondence component of our agenda, so thank you to Mr. Matthew Brown.”

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