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City of Fernie releases public feedback on new skatepark facility

Over 90 percent of respondents supported improvements to the existing skatepark
A number of locals have voiced safety concerns over Fernie’s current skatepark. (File Photo)

Following public support garnered through a community feedback survey, the City of Fernie is pursuing grant funding to create a new Outdoor Hub.

The city’s public survey received 166 responses, with over 92 percent of respondents in support of redeveloping the skate park, and over 93 percent of respondents encouraging the idea of an Outdoor Hub.

The hub is envisioned to offer locals and visitors a place to gather and connect, and will include a concrete skateboard and all-wheel park, catering to all skill levels and riding styles while improving the currently deteriorating and outdated skate park.

Amenities considered most important from survey respondents include lighting, availability of drinking water, accessibility, washroom facilities, and seating areas.

Other themes that emerged from the survey include accessibility with regards to pathways, washrooms, ramps and picnic tables, as well as amenities such as signage, shaded areas and a pump track.

Further requests pertained to fencing, a pedestrian rail overpass, and future-proofing against climate change.

The Outdoor Hub is planned to span from where the current skate park is located to the mountain bike skills park, and will also include access to the Railyard dog park, spray park, Aquatic Centre, trail heads, venue for outdoor pubic events, basketball courts, and outdoor workout equipment.

The deadline for the city’s grant application is Oct. 22, and will be facilitated through the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program. Results will be released in fall 2021.

Should the city be awarded the funding, public engagement will follow in the fall and winter of 2021 and 2022 to discuss design, features and amenities. Construction would be expected to finish in 2022.

For more information on survey results, visit the City of Fernie’s letstalk portal.

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