RDN says Huxley Park is ideal site for Gabriola skatepark

Derek Kilbourn

Sounder News

Wednesday, April 10 2019

Huxley Park has been the chosen site for the Regional District of Nanaimo since 2013, according to Vanessa Craig, Regional Director for Electoral Area B (Gabriola, Mudge, Decourcy).

Craig said building a skatepark has long been a dream of youth on Gabriola. 

“For over 20 years they have been fundraising for one. This opportunity to provide recreational activities for teens is an important step towards creating a vibrant, inclusive community for all ages. 

“It will provide youth and teens the opportunity to recreate on the island, and not have to go to Nanaimo.

She said it’s part of the puzzle to attract and retain young families on the island. 

Craig said the site for a potential skatepark on Gabriola was carefully considered by the RDN, with Huxley chosen as the best fit for a number of reasons.

- it’s owned by the RDN and has the correct zoning in place (Active Recreation Community Park); 

- it’s centrally located near the village core and includes other recreation options; 

- it’s close to the school, the HOPE Centre, and the Commons; 

- it’s on the route serviced by GERTIE; 

- its location supports a safe, inclusive, social, and active recreational space for children and youth; 

- and it will expand the park use to create opportunities for all, including children, youth, adults, and seniors. 

Craig said, “this park will be a central part of our village core where community members of all ages can mix and mingle – a wonderful opportunity for full community use of our park.”

She said the Huxley Park plan has moved through an extensive series of community engagement opportunities since 2013, through public meetings, online surveys, and meetings of the Parks and Open Spaces Committee (POSAC) meetings, and RDN Board. 

“At all stages, the plan has received community support. I am excited that as a community we are expanding opportunities for youth on this island.”

The 2015 drawing by Topographics Landscape Architecture included in the approved Huxley Community Park Master Plan, with the skatepark shown in the north-east corner of the park.