Keep On Pushin’ Gabriola - Skatepark Association aims to raise $72,000 in 12 months for Huxley Park

Derek Kilbourn

Sounder News

Tuesday, April 3 2018

Images courtesy Regional District of Nanaimo and Spectrum Skateparks Inc.

The Gabriola Skatepark Fundraising Association (GSFA) has twelve months to raise $72,000 - till April of 2019.

Keep on Pushin’ Gabriola, the campaign to make that happen, was launched in March and the group will be working hard for the next twelve months to hit that target.

Should that happen, the Regional District of Nanaimo (RDN) plans to be breaking ground for a skatepark at Huxley Community Park in 2020.

The Regional District of Nanaimo recently completed a visioning and design stage for the skatepark, with a final design approved by the Gabriola Parks and Open Spaces Advisory Committee.

The budget for construction of the park is $360,000; $72,000 represents 20 per cent of that budget.

The rest of the costs are expected to be covered from government grants and Community Works funding. But those grants are dependent on there being financial support from the community itself.

Elaine McCulloch, RDN Parks Planner for Gabriola, said that having community monies in place when she goes after the bigger grants helps her show the kind of community support a project has. 

And while volunteerism and in-kind donations add up, nothing says support like cash in the bank.

To that end, the Gabriola Skatepark Fundraising Association was put together by parents and volunteers who had taken part in the visioning process with the RDN.

The group is endorsed by the RDN, and has been given non-financial support from RDN Director Howard Houle, the Gabriola Chamber of Commerce, the Gabriola Health Care Foundation, and People for a Healthy Community. The RDN will spend the next 12 to 18 months preparing for the construction phase of the park. The Gabriola Skatepark Fundraising Association has opened a bank account at the Coastal Community Credit Union.

A GoFundMe account has been opened online.

Those wishing to donate on a regular basis can do so through the Gabriola Skatepark Fundraising Association account at the Credit Union on Gabriola.

More fundraising efforts will be happening throughout 2018 and into early 2019.

David Reid, President of the GSFA, has seen three previous attempts made on Gabriola raising monies to build a community skatepark.

“What we’re hoping though, is Gabriolans as a whole will help to make this skatepark finally happen,” said Reid.

“Skateparks are one way we can have the youth and adults on Gabriola have another opportunity to stay active, in a way that also creates a very social gathering of different demographics.

“Some of us who were youth when we made that first attempt at getting Gabriola’s skatepark built, we now have kids off in college and high school.

“Gabriola has done amazing work in providing for projects in the past. Projects which have benefitted the entire community. This skatepark, when added into the improvements already made to Huxley, will be one more way we’ve made this a community which is open to everyone of all ages.”

Contact the Gabriola Skatepark Fundraising Association by email gabriolaskatepark@gmail.com or www.facebook.com/gabriolaskatepark.

Donate at www.gofundme.com/gabriolaskatepark