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New Brighton Skate Park slated for May 2021 unveiling

​The concrete is curing on the jumps, ramps, dips and curves in Brighton’s upgraded skateboard park and the reveal can’t happen soon enough for Griffin Brown.

​The 13-year-old Brighton youth, an avid skateboarder, eyes in particular one blistery December day the new large manual pad in the centre of the park and the new bowl. Construction work recently wrapped up at the Brighton Skate Park on Elizabeth Street. The municipality’s parks and recreation director hopes the park will be ready for use in the late spring of 2021. Brown is stoked.

​“I really am looking forward to the large ‘manny’ pad in the centre of the park, also the bowl is really cool,” Brown said.

​“I love skateboarding because it’s a great outlet to express creativity and style, also skateboarding has its own culture that’s unique from any other. You never really fight with another skater.”

​Upgrading the park has been in the works for at least a few years, with a community-led group of volunteers undertaking numerous fundraising initiatives. The Brighton Skate Park committee received a significant boost from the provincial government in February. The committee was selected for an Ontario Trillium Foundation grant of $125,000 to complete its fundraising campaign to redevelop the park.

​The grant allowed for the expansion of the skate park, including the addition of new ramps and other improvements to make the attraction state-of-the-art.

​“I think it will be great for the kids,” said Nathan Brown, Griffin’s dad.

​With the warm, late fall, concrete work was completed and landscaping will occur in the spring.

​Jim Millar, Brighton’s parks and recreation director, said Radius Construction, who was awarded the contract, started work in early November.

​“Right now, all of the concrete work has been completed – all of the new jumps, ramps and fixtures are all in place,” Millar said.

​“They’ll be back in the spring when the weather is better to complete the landscaping. It is our hope to have the park up and running by the long weekend in May.”

​When asked why the skatepark is such an important project for the community, Millar said “it’s our hub. Every municipality our size tends to have a hub park where a lot of their recreational facilities are located and for us it has always been King Edward Park.”

​The original skatepark was made in 2004.

​“I’m really looking forward to cutting that ribbon in early 2021 for the skateboarders of the community,” said Brighton Mayor Brian Ostrander.

​“Brighton council and I are strong supporters of youth and youth activity in Brighton and this new park will be a testament to that engagement,” he earlier told the Independent.

​Tania Light, chair of the skatepark committee, got involved in the initiative because she has two sons who ride skateboards and scooters and they were travelling to Campbellford to ride because the Brighton park wasn’t ideal. It will fit the bill now, she said.

​“We’ve added a whole new section,” Light said.

​“We wanted to make sure we had different features in our park so our kids could try out different things.” Her 12-year-old son rides scooters and she anticipates he’ll enjoy the upgraded park. BMX bike riders can also use the space. “We wanted to make sure that it was able to accommodate all of those different (activities) for the kids.”

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