Methven skatepark vested with council as community asset

Published: 28 June 2022

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Ashburton District Mayor Neil Brown politely declined to take a spin around the Methven skatepark yesterday; the body was willing but the mind called caution.

The skatepark was built by a group of parents who wanted a healthy outdoor activity for their kids and it has now been officially handed over to Council to maintain into the future.

Parents Sally-Ann Kircher and Liz McMillan sealed the exchange by handing over a much-loved stakeboard that has seen plenty of action on the concrete bowls and ramps since the skatepark opened in 2020.

The project has been a mission for more than 10 years, after the Canterbury earthquakes damaged Methven’s indoor skatepark.

Parents of the town held a public meeting and proposed some alternative activities, then Mrs Kircher spotted a skatepark in Wanaka and thought it would be an ideal fit in Methven.

Deputy Mayor Liz McMillan was among parents to join KidzMethven and she said the group first had to find appropriate land, then set about fundraising $150,000 to build the skatepark.

Council offered land on McMillan Street and a design first sketched on the back of a serviette at the Green Parrot became the concept plan.

The idea was to provide a safe place for young people to ride their skateboards, scooters and bikes.

Ms McMillan said the group applied for grants and ran fundraisers that ranged from selling teeshirts to organising fireworks and movie nights. The Methven Community Board also gave its backing, and some financial help.

“We begged and borrowed and leaned on our community, which has been so generous, helping with fencing, lights and landscaping. We think the skatepark is a real asset to Methven and it has the potential to host skate jams and other competitive events.”

Mayor Brown said Council would now oversee maintenance on the skatepark, and that included the gardens, rubbish collection and mowing.

“Methven parents have worked very hard to create this great facility and it is well used by the kids of the town. It would be great to see some skateboarding tourists check it out too.”

Council contributed $10,000 to the skatepark project in its development stages and has included $7540 in its 2022-23 Annual Plan to maintain the site.

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