City skate park opens
Editor's note: This story was written at the time of the skate park's opening in late June, but for technical reasons had been removed from the website, so it is now being re-posted.
After a long road, complete with some twists, turns, and a few bumps, Pembroke is officially home to a brand new permanent skate park.
What was one a derelict parking lot became the home for local skaters last summer, with wooden ramps and jumps set up in the former Lake Street lot between Albert and Victoria streets. In the first months of 2016, the park's users were relocated to the lot across Lake Street from the Pembroke Memorial Centre, but on Friday, June 24, the new concrete park was officially declared open, to the obvious joy and relief of the skaters, young and old, who flocked to try out its curves, crests and contours.
"I really like the park," said 15-year-old Daymen Lesway, between runs. "I think it's the best park I've ever skated."
For Lesway, and doubtless the rest of the skaters who can now be seen making daily use of the new facility, having a place to go and skate whenever they want to is an incalculable blessing.
"It feels amazing, just to know that I can come in the morning and get new tricks down when there's nobody here, and then in the afternoon show all my friends the new tricks."
The short ceremonial portion of the opening celebration, which largely just consisted of lots and lots of people trying out the park's features, included an address from Brian Mottershead, one of the strongest contributors to the park's construction.
"This is your park," he said, addressing the youth present. "I want you to be proud of it, I want you to take care of it, and when skaters come from out of town, you can be proud to say that this is yours."
Mottershead had a more pointed message for city officials, however.
"I'd like to say thanks to the city staff for their help, but in actual fact we got no help at all. Sometimes I thought they didn't want it here at all, but we got it here anyway."