The long awaited new Skate Park located in Ohsweken attracted a large crowd for the grand opening last Thursday.
Just after the Tom Longboat Run, members of “Project Skate Park” set up a stand with refreshments and prepared a ribbon cutting ceremony to officially open the park.
The committee is comprised of over ten members, mostly youth, that raised $270,000 since October of 2013 to construct the park. The final layout was designed by New Line Skate Parks, the landscaping was completed by Kayanase, paintings were painted by art students from B.C.I and the gazebo, sign and benches were made by students at OSTTC.
Chief Ava Hill mentioned that the “driving force” behind the project for the committee members was Advisor Rachel Martin. “They couldn’t have done it without her, and she’s been a real role-model for parents in our community,” said Hill. “They’ve raised that money in a little over 20 months, so they’re real role models for our community. They’ve done all kinds of fund-raising. I remember they were jumping into the lake at Port Dover in the middle of winter, they were doing bake sales and everything.”
Chair Corey Martin said the project was a “big part” of his life. “Just it being done, I can finally enjoy it,”said Martin. “Basically when I started doing this I got a lot of respect from a lot of people, because people didn’t think I had it in me – so, I’m just really happy.”
Martin explained that he used a speech and slide show to present to Band Council for land, but did the fund-raising and acquired sponsorship separately. “We also took photos of the skate park on Moccasin Trail, it’s all metal ramps and the pavement is basically like gravel,” said Martin.
When asked about his plans for maintenance, Martin said “…we’re the maintenance. So, if something gets spray painted we’re gonna be here covering it up or scrubbing it off unless it’s cool looking,” he said.
Social Media Operator Tiffany Bomberry said she’s “really excited” about the park. “I’m really happy that we actually did all of this. I’m really excited to see how many people will use it,” said Bomberry.
Bomberry explained that skaters have come to try the park from as far as Brantford and Hamilton, and it was a good experience to work with the project committee. “They really have a lot of initiative and it’s really nice to see that, and it’s really nice to see all of the ideas they all had for it. It was really nice to work with them.”
Sponsor and mother Dianne Bomberry as a sponsor the skate park was something she wanted to help create another healthy recreational option for youth on Six Nations. “I guess I look at everything just like lacrosse – just not all of the kids play lacrosse. Now they can have something in the community for the kids that skate.”
Bomberry said she hopes parents will educate their children in safety at the park. “The parents would have to educate their children on the safety rules, even though they’re posted. I just hope that they wear helmets and elbow pads, but that would be up to the parents.
The skate park is now open for visitors at the Six Nations Fairgrounds across from the Six Nations Community Hall.