For several Quesnel skateboarders, the cleanup of the skatepark in West Quesnel is long overdue.
The skatepark is frequently covered in graffiti and littered with broken glass.
This prompted many of the frequent skaters at the park to go to city hall to request permission to clean it up.
Once city hall approved the cleanup, the skaters were on to their most challenging task, getting all the support and donations needed for the project.
“Everyone thinks the west side skatepark is just a place to get drunk and high,” Graeme Tourangeau said.
“I think once we’ve got the skatepark cleaned up, hopefully it stays clean and people take care of it and respect it like we would.”
“We want people to see that West Quesnel isn’t a bad place, we want to encourage people to come here,” he added.
Most of the cleanup consists of getting rid of the graffiti that covers the skate park.
The skaters have already secured donations of paint from Rona and Benjamin Moore.
They would appreciate more donations of paint as they have to repaint the entire park, and use of a pressure washer, to prepare the park for the paint.
The group plans on getting the park washed first, then painted and maybe getting murals painted on it.
“We think if we put murals on it, people might leave it alone. There’s a mural on there now and it’s barely been touched,” they said.
As for a wishlist of changes to be done to the park, the group have quite a list.
“We’d like to see better lighting, maybe a water fountain and hopefully an expansion,” Brandon Craig said.
The expansion isn’t a priority though.
Another idea they have is to get someone to watch the park.
There is a camera in use now, but the lighting isn’t effective and isn’t on at all times.
“We’d like to take care of all the smaller projects first, the expansion is more of a plan B. We haven’t brought that to city council yet,” explained Mitch Wurm.
The group of skaters will also be putting up some sort of signage, a donation from Trim-Line, most likely with a set of rules for the park and the names of sponsors.
For now, the skaters (and bikers) are relying mostly on donations, but they are planning some fundraising as well.
“We want to do a sort of skate show, people can come watch, or skate,” Brennden Baker said.
Although some of the young men plan on leaving Quesnel after high school, this project is still very important.
“I just want a place that’s clean for me to come skate at,” Tourangeau said.
“I want to be able to go to the park and be happy and not have to look at graffiti.”
To help with the rejuvenation of the park, contact Craig at firstname.lastname@example.org.