This story was originally published in the January/February 2013 issue of Bedford Magazine.
One group is working to get a skate park. And it’s not just for the kids.
It’s been three years since the Bedford Skate Park Action Team committee (B SPAT) began its mission to build a permanent skate park in the community. With plans and ideas still in the works, the demand is strong. “If you’re talking to all the [skate park] users, they want it now,” says Mark Ward, B SPAT chair. “The reason I say [skate park] ‘users’ is because it’s not just youth.”
While a temporary skate park has been in place for roughly a year, Ward says it’s paved with asphalt instead of concrete. The latter would make for better quality, he says. The temporary spot, located in Range Park in Bedford, includes a quarter pipe, grinding rail, funbox, launch ramp and benches. Aaron Patey, 24, says he’s been using the skate park since the beginning. “It’s in the area that pretty much gets flooded if there’s the smallest amount of rain,” he says. “It’s not exactly the greatest, but better than nothing.”
He supports the idea of building a permanent skate park. “I think it’s important to have a real skate park because it’s good for the community and everything all together,” says Patey. “You can put as many temporary parks and little paved areas as you want, but unless you put in a real, professionally made concrete skate park, it’s kind of just a waste of money…that’s my opinion.”
During summer, it’s typical to see five or so people using the temporary spot in Bedford in the run of a day. “But if anybody has the option, they’re going to go to the real park in Halifax, or they’re going to go to the real park in Spryfield, or we even drive 45 minutes out to Chester some days,” Patey says.
Bedford-Wenworth Councillor Tim Outhit says the temporary skate park cost about $35,000 to build, including $5,000 raised by B SPAT. Building a permanent skate park will cost between $150,000 and $400,000, says Outhit. “I think it’s doable,” Outhit says, “but we need to find out where it’s going to be and, of course, then the three levels of government and the community can come together and fundraise.”
“What you want is something that’s easily accessible, you want it visible for people walking and driving by to deter vandalism, but you don’t want it next to a residential section,” he says.
In late November, B SPAT announced a local presentation by Spectrum Skatepark Creations, and roughly 25 people attended. For now, Ward says B SPAT isn’t favouring any particular company for building the permanent skate park, but simply considering options and opportunities.