Covered in colourful graffiti and tucked away behind the Pickering Recreation Complex on Valley Farm Road, hides the city’s only skate park. Diana, Princess of Wales Park opened in 1995. It was one of Durham’s first skate parks.
But according to regular Mike Temos and Phil Rumble, it has seen better days.
“Lots of cracks. Bad angles. And like it’s very badly designed,” Rumble says.
Temos and Rumble are just a few of the skaters who have been asking for a new park for years. They say the park has not aged well and is too small.
They decided to take thing into their own hands.
They started a petition on Change.org to get the message across to the city, and hear from other local skateboarders.
Arnold Mostert, senior co-ordinator of landscape and parks development for the City of Pickering, says there was a proposal back in 2014 to construct a new park at East Woodlands Park, located just across from the Petticoat Creek Community Centre.
It was chosen because of its direct connection to the youth room and washrooms at the community centre. As well, because it is located on a major bus route, the city says it is open and safe. The facility is also already monitored by security during community centre hours. But local residents had concerns.
“Council felt that before approving any location for a new skate park or investing funds into the repair of the existing skate park, that a citywide skate park strategy should be prepared,” Mostert says.
The skate park strategy is set to evaluate the overall need for skate parks within the city.
At the most recent, the city showed support for a new location, according to Temo and Rumble, but Mosteret says the city is not close to a decision yet.
“Council has also approved funds for the preparation of a Skate Park Strategy so that the best locations could be determined through further consultation with the skate boarding community and local residents,” Mostert says.
But for these skate boarders, a decision can’t come soon enough.
“The park means a lot to us,” Temos says. “We value skateboarding a lot in our lives.”
For more information on the petition, go to https://www.change.org/p/help-pickering-get-a-new-skatepark.