Studies demonstrate that vibrant communities come from engaged citizens at all age levels, including children and youth. Failing communities do so because citizens no longer care. Delinquency comes from children and youth that are disempowered and disengaged.
We have an opportunity right now to show our children and youth that they have a voice and that we respect and care about what is important to them. For over a year, a group of children and youth have tirelessly worked side by side with adults in the community to research, fundraise, and build awareness about an X-Park in St. Marys. They have done all the hard work. The only item remaining is a decision on where to build.
For some reason I cannot fathom, many in our community assume that with an X-Park comes delinquency. Do we make this assumption with basketball courts, tennis courts, baseball diamonds? No, because they are sports that all adults are familiar with. Skateboarding, scootering and BMX trick biking are new sports. Sports just like basketball, tennis and baseball. They are important to our youth and, therefore, they should be important to us.
They are asking us to help them build the forum they need for these sports and we should be embracing their passion rather than trying to distinguish it.
So my preference between the two locations…the Pyramid Centre. In the centre of all the activity where it would be easily accessible by skateboard, scooter and bike. Not tucked away in a dimly lit part of Town where few people live and play and it is not very accessible.
Let’s respect and celebrate the work that many members of our community have done to make the X-Park a reality, and build it where it will be used and enjoyed.
My personal thanks to all those who have worked so hard to make this a reality. To the kids that have put so much work into it, I admire you greatly. I hope we do not let you down.
Elizabeth Hill, St. Marys