The provincial government announced funding through their Community Spaces program, and the Morden Skate Park will be receiving money.
$50,000 will be going into phase two of the skate park, which will include a flat area, steel components like ramps and jumps and an outdoor ping pong table donated by Imperia Management.
“It’s the continuation of the skate park, something that was always planned,” Morden mayor Ken Wiebe said. “You have to work with money that’s available and a variety of funding came available, so we thought that now was a good time to do the expansion.”
Wiebe said the second phase has been a culmination of various agencies and volunteers, including this recent grant from the provincial government.
The funding announcement was particularly exciting for Wes Reimer.
Reimer headed up the effort to bring a skate park to Morden after his son pointed out that there was no real place to skateboard. “There were a lot of skateboarders going downtown, and he was frustrated,” he said. “So I thought instead of being frustrated and being upset about it, let’s go out and take pictures of possible places where we might find a place to have a skate park. Let’s start it, let’s do something about it.”
At the same time, Reimer said he found out the city had a similar vision, so they came together to get a skate park in the area.
Reimer said it’s exciting to see the second phase get going. “I feel very excited that we get to empower our kids to not only have physical exercise but to learn a skill as well,” he said. “A lot of the stuff they’re doing is great physical exercise and it meets a lot of the criteria for the Manitoba curriculum in physical education.”
Reimer said getting kids involved with the first phase about 10 years ago empowered them to respect and use the area.
The components from the skate park will be moveable, so the city can use them wherever they see fit. There will also be a space for more inexperienced skaters to learn safely.
“What I also liked about the skate park is that there’s older skaters mentoring younger skaters and therefore learning more skill,” Reimer said.
Wiebe said Morden is known for its recreation services. “We have great recreational facilities,” he said. “For a community of our size we have two arenas, we have parks, soccer pitches, we have the skate park. We’ve got great sporting facilities and recreational facilities in the community. It just doesn’t stop, and this is just another addition to that.”
“It kind of keeps our community fresh and interesting,” he added.
Wiebe said the flatwork will be done this fall, and the components should be put in place early in the spring.
MLA for Morden-Winkler Cameron Friesen said he is excited to see the funding go to the skate park. “These are great community led projects and we’re excited to see this funding in particular,” he said. “This is such a great sports and recreation asset for our community, it was largely the vision of a few people a few years ago that got phase one built.”
“This has become a place for the community to gather,” he added. “For young people to gather to take part in sports and exercise and enjoy the outdoors so we’re pleased to make the investment. We know this will be well used.”