City picks a spot for skate park

A decade-long push for a wheel park in Trail has landed in the Gulch, the city announced Tuesday.

Trail’s skateboard park committee has spent the past year reviewing potential locations for the new urban park and, after much consideration, Trail council has decided to support the construction of a park on the city’s undeveloped land adjacent to the chain-up area on Rossland Avenue.

“I am glad to see the ball rolling and that it’s actually going ahead to construction,” said Ashley Escott, the teen who brought the idea to the forefront by petitioning the area two years ago.

“A lot of work has gone into the process and I’m excited that the park is finally going to be a reality,” he said in a news release.

The committee originally identified 11 potential sites for the park but focused their consideration on the lot in the Gulch and two other possibilities at Gyro Park.

The Gulch stood out as the best possible choice since the city is working toward revitalizing downtown and a park would further boost one of Trail’s oldest neighbourhoods.

“Just look at what the Colombo Lodge accomplished across the street – turning vacant, dusty lots into what is now an award-winning park,” said Trail councillor Eleanor Gattafoni Robinson. “This is an opportunity to continue to rejuvenate the historic Gulch.”

Council has set aside money in this year’s budget to develop the design plans and construction drawings, with plans to include the cost of construction in next year’s capital plans.

“If done right, the Gulch location can become an exciting urban space that will bring needed energy into the Gulch and downtown,” said Raymond Masleck from Trail Rotary, which is the park’s sponsor organization.  “Our club is delighted that council is going ahead with detailed work for a skateboard park.”

Detailed design plans will be developed and the city will be seeking proposals for the design work. In addition, green space, parking and washrooms will be included in the plan. Once plans are set, the city will solicit neighbouring properties.

A construction budget will also be made to ensure the skateboard park committee can source grant funding.