By Gagandeep Ghuman
Published: May 26, 2012
Michael Quesnel’s persistence has paid off.
Whistler Blackcomb foundation is donating $5500 to install lights at the Squamish Skateboard Park near the youth centre in downtown Squamish.
Finally, the skateboarders in Squamish would have the chance to play the sport at night.
“I’m just super stoked about it,” Quesnel says.
The total cost for four poles and eight lights would be $20,000, a big portion of which would be covered by volunteers.
Ever since he moved to Squamish, Quesnel had made it his mission to brighten up the skateboard park in Squamish.
“In the fall, when the sun goes down, it was the perfect weather to skateboard, but we had no lights,” he says.
“Now, we can skateboard whenever we want, whatever time it is.”
Quesnel said the idea has support from the skateboard community, and from those who want the youth to be better engaged.
Squamish has been very supportive in making the lights a possibility, Quesnel said.
“Laroy Watt from BC Hydro, Alta Lake Electric, SLRD director Moe Freitag, and Paul deJong all helped out,” he said.
Quesnel said he believes the lights in the park would also spur tourism in Squamish.
“There are not many skateboard parks that have lighting. It will bring people from all over the Lower Mainland,” he said.
Quesnel couldn’t say when the lights would be switched off, but he said skateboarders would subscribe to every legal condition, from time frame to noise.
The lights, Quesnel hopes, would deter people from illegal activity in the area and help young people channelize their energy.
“The sun would go down and the problems would start. Now, the kids can stay out of trouble, and do something productive,” he adds.
His idea also has support from Renee Theoret, the community program coordinator at the Squamish Youth Resource Centre.
Theoret said there is very little youth oriented free activities in Squamish.
“The skate park has a positive impact in the community and attracts hundreds of people during the summer and lots of local youth,” she said.
Theoret said the well-lit park would offer a positive outdoor activity which is relatively cheap.
“Also, lit spaces deter crime and provide safety around wildlife as a large amount of traffic walks besides the youth Centre and the skate park,” she said.
She said the youth centre foresees no problems with having the skate park available to these people into the evening