An Oliver playground is one of six province-wide to make the finals of a BCAA-sponsored contest offering a $100,000 revitalization.
The Oliver Small Wheels Playground is looking for a major overhaul of a skatepark that was built in 2000 in memory of a local teenager and passionate skateboarder who died in a tragic accident but has since fallen into disrepair with many features “crumbling, bent, uneven and broken.”
The competition, presented by BCAA, was designed to encourage local communities to build safe-play spaces for their families.
The top three winning play spaces will each receive revitalizations worth up to $100,000. The remaining finalists will receive runner-up prizes of $30,000, $20,000 and $10,000.
The skatepark facility, located at the north end of Oliver, was championed by Oliver Parks & Recreation, which started working on an improved skatepark design in 2014.
“To make the park usable, the original cement slab can stay — a huge money saving — but virtually all of the ramps and other features need to be replaced,” the department reported in its submission.
It would like to install ‘street-style’ features, seating and lighting and pathways from the nearby parking lots to make the skatepark more accessible to all.
A critical ingredient in the the successful playground-remake pitches includes ingredients that also provide a place for “parents/caregivers to socialize, support one another and come together as a community.”
“A new and improved “Small Wheels Playground” will bring decades of fun to our town,” the Oliver submission reads.
“Adding new park features that are safe for small wheels riders of all ages and abilities will greatly increase park use, decrease unsafe riding in inappropriate areas around town, offer our kids a vital social and physical outlet, and make the space family friendly, truly making it the vibrant heart of our town.”
Five other playgrounds in the top six are located in Coquitlam, Canoe, Black Creek, Sayward and Tl’etinqox.
Supporters can vote for their favourite playgrounds through June 23 at bcaaplayhere.com.