A Parent’s Perspective…
As a parent of three kids and a resident of the Town of Kentville, I fully support the development of a quality skate park in our town.
My two boys, aged 11 and 13 have developed a passion for scooters, as have many of their friends. This summer, I made numerous trips to parks in Halifax, Chester, Windsor, Wolfville and Greenwood, sometimes making the drive into an entire day trip and always taking other children in addition to my own.
The Chester Skate Park is our favorite. Being located centrally among businesses, the Town of Chester shows that it bears a sense of pride in the quality of their park. It is viewed as a vital part of the community and as a result, those who use it work to keep it maintained and respect the property.
One Sunday in August, I took a full van load of boys and we went to Chester at my son’s request to celebrate his birthday. We spent 5 hours there which gave me ample time to observe those who used the park that day. I estimate that during the time we were there, well over 60 people had come and gone. They ranged in age from pre-school to adult and comprised of boys, girls, groups and individuals. I had conversations with people from Halifax, the Valley and the South Shore who all had made the trip to Chester, specifically to enjoy the skate park. Among the users that day, I observed a tremendous sense of support and respect for each other. When one person fell, others stopped to ask if they were ok and offered assistance. When almost colliding, “excuse me” and “sorry” were always exchanged and there were lots of compliments and discussion between strangers about each others equipment and/or skills. Those using the skate park that day were the opposite of what some people feel is the stereotypical appearance and values of a “skater”. The users were respectful, friendly and courteous and my boys made acquaintances that we often run into at other parks.
I feel the Town of Kentville would benefit from a park on various levels. Visitors will make the Kentville Skate Park a destination and in doing so, visit frequently and boost our local businesses. Secondly, the sense of belonging that arises from children and teenagers having the opportunity to learn and engage in activities where they feel comfortable and successful, promotes the growth of well adjusted individuals. Lastly, the health benefits from the physical activity of a skate park are undeniable. My sense is that the Town of Kentville takes pride in being a leader in recreation by offering a diverse list of programs and opportunities for its’ families to engage in physical fitness. A skate park would be a welcome addition for my family, as well as many others across the province.