Montrose skate park overhaul becomes a regional project

Plans are rolling out for a new look and a new name for a well-used local skate park.

Plans are rolling out for a new look and a new name for a well-used local skate park.

The former Montrose Skate Park, now called the Beaver Valley Skate Park, is in need of an overhaul now that 13 years have passed since boarders first started taking grinds in the outdoor facility.

Falling under the umbrella of the Beaver Valley Recreation Committee (BV Rec), planned betterment is coming together with Montrose, Fruitvale and Area A jointly earmarking the project as a high priority.

Functional and sightly updates have been on the regional district’s radar since strong support for upgrading the existing venue was shown in a 2013 recreation survey of Beaver Valley residents.

The proposed skate park improvements are one of the priorities for BV Rec’s capital projects in 2016, confirmed Area A Director, Ali Grieve.

“We are the only skate park in the Lower Columbia,” she said. “Our plan to upgrade this facility will be a huge benefit to the region.”

The current skate park consists of features that have outgrown the sport of skateboarding, Grieve added.

“We have plans for new concrete structures that are now in demand.”

The project estimate and unofficial budget nears $300,000.

That includes all project design, public consultation, construction and installation, explained Bryan Teasdale, Montrose chief administrative officer.

“The facility is used by all age groups and genders as a means to provide both physical and social interaction,” he pointed out, reiterating the facility is the only one of its kind in both Greater Trail and the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary (RDKB).

“(Park) equipment is nearing its end of life,” Teasdale said.

“The RDKB and village is currently planning to upgrade the facility that includes the installation of new permanent features and structures at the existing location, while improving other current park amenities such as fencing, lighting, access, signage and seating.”

BV Rec stepped in to keep the project moving forward after disappointing news that Montrose’s Canada 150 application was denied funding, effectively grounding the village’s plans to re-brand the facility a “legacy” project.

Skateboarders from the region and beyond regularly visit the 9th Avenue locale, which is listed and pictured on the Kootenay Rockies Tourism website, on SkateParkTour.ca, even on CoastalBC.com.

So the three communities are hoping to land some local dollars to fix up the popular spot and revitalize its appeal.

That’s where a new Columbia Basin Trust (CBT) granting cycle could come into play and help complete the project for park regulars, new visitors, and in time to mark Montrose’s 60th anniversary celebrations in 2016.

The trust recently announced a new program called Recreation Infrastructure Grants, which offers $3 million per year over the next three years to help Basin groups and organizations with construction of new recreation projects or upgrades to existing infrastructure.

The funds are earmarked for improvements to spaces such as parks, skate parks, back country trail networks, swimming pools, ice rinks, curling arenas, and sports fields.

Eligible projects can be funded up to 70 per cent to a maximum of $500,000. CBT maintains investing in recreation encourages residents to live active, healthy lifestyles and supports tourism in the region.

“Together, the three communities of Fruitvale, Montrose and Area A are very committed to seeing this move forward,” Grieve added. “A grant from the Columbia Basin Trust will ensure a long lasting legacy for our youth to enjoy for years to come.”

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