Outdoor Public Skatepark -Nelson BC
**The Kootenay Lake Outdoor Skatepark Society**, or KLOSPS, is run by the Nelson youth for the Nelson youth. The society has identified an unfulfilled need, that is the need for a facility that allows local youth to legally practice and participate in the individual sports they have passionately dedicated so much of their time and lives to. On their own initiative, the local skateboarders are actively pursuing this goal.
**The need for a skatepark** in Nelson is straightforward. Skateboarding has been a very popular and positive part of the town’s culture and for the last 20 or so years, there have been no appropriate legal public places to skateboard. The local skateboarders have had no choice but to skate on sidewalks and other locations, which is against city bylaws. Consider that skateboarding today, with 16 million enthusiasts nationwide, is more popular than baseball for kids ages 6-17 (National Sporting Goods Association, 2000). Nelson offers baseball fields, soccer pitches, hockey rinks, curling rinks etc but no outdoor public skatepark. The skatepark will be free and open to skateboarders, inline skaters and bikers and will act as a much needed anchor for youth activities and energy in Nelson.
**Skateboarding** is often embraced by hard to reach youth, kids that do not fit in and tend to not participate in organized sports. It is also popular with low income families as it is a relatively inexpensive sport . A skatepark gives its users a sense of community and belonging. Also, by having the youth involved and steering the process from start to finish it gives them a tremendous sense of accomplishment and teaches them valuable life lessons. There has already been considerable work done on programs for youth at the skatepark once it is constructed. A multi-stakeholder team comprised of representatives from city and local governments, youth organizations, police, engineers and others have already come together and delivered a report to Town Council. After more than a decade, this initiative has the critical mass and support of the community and, with proper funding, it will become a reality.