Kentville Skate Park Entering Second Phase

Kentville Skate Park Entering Second Phase
By Genevieve Allen Hearn

Looking for a father-approved activity this Father’s Day? The Kentville Skate Park is a great place to scooter, skateboard, or bike with Dad, and it’s located in Kentville’s recreation corridor alongside the Harvest Moon Trailway and next to the KCA playground. Pack a picnic and spend the day!

Matt MacLeod, president of the Kentville Skatepark Association and father of two daughters, grew up in Kentville and has been skateboarding for over thirty years. While living in several cities across Canada he saw many examples of well-designed concrete skate parks that were always busy with skateboarders, BMX bikers, and scooter riders. When he moved back to Kentville in 2011 he held a public meeting to gauge the interest in building a concrete skate park in town.

With a clear expression of interest from the community, the Kentville Skatepark Association (KSA) was formed. By the summer of 2017, the KSA had secured financial support from the Government of Canada (through ACOA), the Town of Kentville, the Municipality of Kings County, and the Province of Nova Scotia, as well as raising over $80,000 through fundraising efforts. New Line Skateparks, a skate park design firm in Toronto, was awarded the contract to design the park. The entire project is 15,000 square feet and has an estimated budget of $800,000 in total.

What you see today is Phase 1 of the project. Matt describes Phase 1 as the street course, which includes stairs, ramps, rails and other obstacles often found in the urban environment. Landscaping of the street course is underway with a grand opening celebration expected later this summer. Matt comments, “Phase 1 of the park is very well-received, with many users stating it is among their favourite skate parks in all of Nova Scotia. Enthusiasts are travelling to Kentville from as far away as Yarmouth, Chester, and Halifax on a regular basis to enjoy the facility’s unique features.”

Locals love it too! Aiden West, a teacher at Kings County Academy, started a skateboarding program at the new skate park that completely booked up as soon as registration opened. The Town of Kentville will be offering additional programming at the Kentville Skate Park in the future.

Phase 2 of the park includes the bowl feature. Matt explains, “The bowl feature can be thought of as essentially an empty swimming pool in terms of what it looks like. It’s a key feature of any skate park, distinct and separate from the street course. Completion of the bowl will see our full design realized and will serve to draw the biggest cross section of users from all age groups to our town.”

The Town of Kentville officially took ownership of the skate park project once Phase 1 ended this past December. Fundraising is ongoing for the bowl, which will cost an estimated $150,000-$200,000. The town has a corporate sponsorship package available to any businesses who wish to support Phase 2 of the park. Details of the sponsorship benefits are available by contacting the Director of Parks and Recreation, Rachel Bedingfield, at rbedingfield@kentville.ca. KSA is also accepting private donations with charitable tax receipts available upon request.

The Kentville Skate Park is friendly for children of all ages, and Matt’s two daughters enjoy spending time at the park. “Our oldest, Lauren, who is 6, has a special kid-sized skateboard that she enjoys. Our youngest, Leah, who is 3, simply enjoys running around up and down the ramps!”

Get outdoors this Father’s Day and come check it out!