The Ferndale City Council approved an application for a grant through the Tony Hawk Foundation to build a skate park at Wilson Park, a project the city has been looking to do since last year.

The Ferndale City Council approved an application for a grant through the Tony Hawk Foundation to build a skate park at Wilson Park, a project the city has been looking to do since last year.

Photo by Mike Koury


Ferndale council approves grant application for skate park

By: Mike Koury | Woodward Talk | Published June 20, 2018

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FERNDALE — Approximately a year ago, the Ferndale City Council approved the installation of a skate park at Wilson Park.

In the time since, Wilson Park has remained skateless, but council approval of a new grant application looks to change that.

The council approved at its June 11 meeting an application by the Parks and Recreation Department for a Built to Play Skate Park Grant through the Tony Hawk Foundation. 

The skate park approved by the council last year was for prefabricated parts that would be installed at Wilson Park. But after hearing from the community, Parks and Recreation Director LaReina Wheeler said they decided not to go forward with that plan.

“We rescinded it because of a lot of input that we got from the community, and actually a concrete skate park would be better,” she said.

The grant from the foundation matches funds up to $250,000. The city is looking to use funds that were approved last year in the amount of $358,586 as a grant match.

Wheeler said the design aspect of the park won’t come until further down the road, but a big part of that will be community input to get ideas for it.

“We are putting together an advisory board now,” she said. “We actually have commitments from several individuals within the community who have a vested interest, and (they’re) excited to be a part of this process. This grant is big on community input.”

Wheeler noted that the city should hear about the grant in August, and that Robertson Brothers Homes, which is building new homes neighboring Wilson Park, will be notified soon.

Mayor Pro Tem Greg Pawlica, who lives near Wilson Park, said at the meeting that he and other residents aren’t fans of a skate park going into Wilson.

Pawlica elaborated to the Woodward Talk that he thinks the skate park is a great idea and something he recommended be installed in the city. He just thinks Wilson Park isn’t the best park for it. One of the reasons is the proposed skate park is a substantial size, and Wilson is not very large, he said.

“With the new homes going in, the proposed location is going to be nearly in some of those folks’ backyard,” he said. “What we’ve been working towards is that ... every park has kind of a unique amenity. So right now, Wilson Park has the dog park; Garbutt Park has Safety Town; Harding Park has the hockey rink, and it’s very well-used by the community. 

“If we put the skate park in Wilson Park, it kind of takes away the uniqueness that we’ve created the park as kind of the dog park. We really should consider, maybe, it in Geary Park since people that have been asking for the skate park live near or around Geary Park. It would make it easier for those people to access them, and currently we don’t have a unique amenity at Geary Park.”

Pawlica said that while he’ll express in city conversations his dislike of the skate park going into Wilson, he’s not going to actively fight it.

“If it’s a matter of a skate park going in Wilson Park or no skate park at all, I’ll support the skate park,” he said.

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