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Stoked for County Youth Park opening on Sunday

Professional skateboarder Brian Wenning to participate at Sunday's opening of the County Youth Park - beginning at noon. Professional Jereme Rogers will also skate. Check the video below.

By Bill Samuel
Professionals, amateurs, friends, family, fans and many supporters are stoked to see grinds, kickflips, air grabs, Ollies and railstands at the opening of the County Youth Park Sunday, June 18 beginning at noon at the Prince Edward Community Centre, Picton.
It’s been a long-time coming.
Starting with a small asphalt pad behind the arena with home-made ramps built by volunteers and funded by local businesses things started to grow. Over the last five years plus, the youth in the county, with guidance from Andrew MacKay, have taken the lead to bring a state-of-the-art skate park to Picton. After observing the positive interest, the county offered to help build a better park for the youth.

Andrew MacKay

“It’s an initiative brought forward by the county youth,” said Barry Braun, Commissioner Recreation, Parks and Culture, Prince Edward County. “It was positive thing, the youth were going to drive this and be a partner at the table, not just looking for a hand out.”

The youth incorporated, forming Youth Park Inc. and raised $300,000 through dances, fund raisers and a grant and the County matched the investment. The federal and provincial governments have also partnered in the enterprise. As well as raising funds the youth were also involved in choosing the location and designing of the park.

“The county came in almost immediately,” said MacKay. “They helped us on all levels, they organized committees and helped with funding requests.”

Committing to the long haul proved to be important for everyone.
“We realized that putting the park off in the corner somewhere wasn’t what anybody wanted,” said MacKay. “The youth liked the location so they could show-off, the county likes it because it will attract people to the area and the security of the location and its users will be assured by being in a highly visible location.”

Though skateboarding is a solo sport there is a social aspect to it and the skatepark will give youth a place to meet their friends and find new ones. There is also a significant playground equipment set up in place.

On July 18, at noon, the playground will open to the public, while professional BMX and skateboarding demonstrations take place. Riders include Brian Wenning and Jereme Rogers. At 1 pm the Skatepark will open to the public and at 2 pm the locals will get a chance to show-off their skills in an open competition. Music from local performers follows at 3 pm. MacKay notes there are plenty of prizes and giveaways set up.

The official grand opening is to take place in September at the fair.

County Youth Park playground area.

County Youth Park stairs and ramps area.

Another centre of attention at the County Youth Park.

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