By Lyonel Doherty
Hundreds of people filled Lion’s Park today to celebrate the groundbreaking of the new Small Wheels Park.
A total of 250 employees of BCAA converged at the site to cheers and high-fives as the celebration began.
Oliver was a top prize winner in the BCAA Play Here contest that has funneled $100,000 towards the new park, thanks to everyone who voted (online) for the project.
“It brought our community together in a way that has not happened before,” said Oliver Parks and Recreation manager Carol Sheridan.
She noted the original skatepark was built in 2000 after an incredible amount of hard work by a small but mighty group of community members who fought to make it happen.
“They did that out of love and dedication and memory to Joel Waines, who was passionate about skateboarding but left the world tragically way too young,” Sheridan said.
Because of so many people’s efforts, we “now have a legacy that we can leave for another 25, 30 years.”
The Joel Waines plaque was removed from the half pipe before a machine ceremoniously chipped away at the old skateboarding feature.
“To make things new and beautiful sometimes you have to break down the old ones,” said Shawn Pettipas, BCAA’s director of community engagement.
He asked what is a small wheels park without small wheels? At this point he held up one of 50 new skateboards that were to be personalized by members of the public before given away to local youth.