Windsor city council unveils renovated skatepark

By Michael Boriero - Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Windsor city officials drew a large crowd on Friday morning when they reopened the local skatepark to citizens, revealing several upgrades and refurbished ramps.
The project gained steam three years ago after Enzo Hamel wrote a letter to the city asking for a new park. His grandmother also helped with the initiative, bringing the 13-year-old’s note to the city’s higher ups.
Hamel, who is nearly 16 years old now, has been in communication with city council ever since. Officials appreciated his input on how to improve the old park so much that on Friday they revealed the site will in fact bear his name.
“It’s fun to see your name at a skatepark, it’s rare and it makes me happy to do something for kids my age and evolve our sport,” said Hamel.
The Enzo Skateboard Park is open free-of-charge everyday between 7 a.m. and 8 p.m. to all skateboarders, bikers, rollerbladers and many other wheel-based sports. However, one detail stands out: every child in the park must wear a helmet.
“It’s important to wear helmets, we need to be careful, but also have fun and continue improving, too,” Hamel said.
According to Guy Arcand, Windsor’s recreational director, the project took roughly two years to complete because they needed to conduct several consultations amongst the youth in the community. They also needed to establish a budget.
“They wanted a skatepark, but the one that we had didn’t really fill their needs,” Arcand said. “After a few studies, we figured out how to do this on a budget.”
He added that they originally presented a $20,000 budget for the new installations, but that quickly ramped up to $65,000 when it was all said and done. At the moment, the park comes with a couple of picnic tables, but the city plans to create a hang out zone.
Arcand explained that in the near future there will be more benches, water fountains and tables at the new skateboard park. It’s all part of a beautification and community initiative. The sticking point for this project, though, was creating a safe and friendly environment.
“Presently, for the kids in the region, it gives them a safe space to practice skateboarding and it gives them an area to hang out,” said Arcand. “They’re all respectful, there’s no excess noise, they really respect the site.”

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