Published: September 14, 2016
BY JENNIFER PARSONS
The Township of Ear Falls is making adolescent recreation venues a priority as leadership moves forward in the development of an outdoor recreation plan.
Earlier this summer the municipal government engaged in a planning process to address parks, playground structures, and the waterfront area and presented a draft plan to the community at the beginning of September.
Reviewing the public input at their Regular Council Meeting on Sept. 7, municipal leaders agreed to prioritize large-scale items, including a skateboard park for adolescent youth.
“I think we have a lot of great input on this when you look through the draft…There is a lot of input that came from the community which is nice to see. A lot of times we ask for input and we don’t normally get it or we don’t get very much of it,” noted Mayor Kevin Kahoot adding the plan was one the municipality could work with.
During the meeting Councillor Rob Eady suggested the municipal government review the plan along with financial considerations in order to tackle the small budget items and plan for the bigger expenditures.
Councillor Daniel Sutton noted the skateboard park idea and a waterpark idea would serve different demographics making it hard to prioritize one over the other.
“One of them has to be tackled first and they aren’t going to happen at the same time. They are different demographics that both have needs. The skate park will help a bit with the older youth in that it could keep them busier to help the problems we are having in the community,” said Sutton while noting the splashpad would be a gathering place for younger families.
Mayor Kahoot responded by noting that planned changes for the Waterfront Park area would hopefully include similar features of a water park in order to meet that need.
Community representative Wayne McFadden, who was asked to address council on the matter, agreed with Mayor Kahoot that improvements should be targeting adolescent youth.
“The youth of the community is in dire need. Yes the smaller kids need a splash park but being in Red Lake…when that skatepark came into play it wasn’t just the older kids that started using this it was the younger kids as well,” McFadden added.
Mayor Kahoot also noted a location for the proposed skateboard and/or bike park would be discussed further as plans are flushed out and that the Township would be seeking the support of community groups and corporations to bring different aspects of the plan into fruition.