A local non-profit organization dubbed Get on Board (GOB) has teamed with a Vancouver-based longboard company to raise funds towards constructing a skateboard park in the remote community of Ahousaht.
Landyachtz has committed $10,000 towards the project, which will be matched by the First Nations community on Flores Island in Clayoquot Sound. But another $20,000 is needed to make the project happen.
Organizers have initiated an Indiegogo fundraising campaign, which has generated about $4,000 in the first week. The Crowdfunding site permits two months of fundraising.
There’s about two kilometres of asphalt in Ahousaht, where about 40 per cent of the 900 residents are under 19.
“So it occurred to us that the best outcome would be to build a skate park in this remote community, which is 40 minutes from Tofino,” said Grant Shilling, a Cumberland resident who started the non-profit GOB, which connects youth to schools and community through board sports.
“In Ahousaht, we had the kids build their own boards, and design logos and graphics for the boards. If the youth invest in the building and the development of the park, they’ll own, respect and take care of it too.”
Spectrum Skateparks of North Vancouver is designing the facility, which will be built in sections.
Shilling hopes the park becomes a “place for people to gather.”
Ahousaht Chief Patti Campbell plans to survey various age groups to determine location preferences and fundraising ideas.
“I am personally excited for the project, and hope to learn how to use a board so I can make use of the skate park too,” Campbell said.
“For me, Ahousaht has been in the news lately with the rescue of survivors of the Leviathan,” Shilling added, referring to the whale-watching boat that capsized near Tofino last month. At least five people died, but 21 were saved, thanks in part to the Ahousaht residents who jumped into boats and helped pull them out of the water.
“I see it as a great opportunity for people to give thanks for what Ahousaht did.”
For more information, visit the Facebook page of Get On Board or Landyachtz, or gobyouth.com.
To donate to the campaign, visit bit.ly/1S7Hu27 or mail to:
Get on Board