On Friday night, Queen Street in Hespeler was transformed into a DIY skate park. Kids, teens and adults showed off their skills on rails and jump ramps as they launched themselves into the air.
Whether on a skateboard, bike or scooter, spectators watched the latest tricks perform at the ‘Hespeler Needs a Skatepark’ event.
The fundraising event was organized by Hespeler Needs a Skatepark, a community group working to bring a skate park to Hespeler.
According to Mark Ready, one of the group’s founders, the need for a more permanent site in Hespeler continues to grow.
“We just want to keep raising awareness that Hespeler needs a skate park. We are happy to have local riders supporting us like we did at our first ‘Go Skate Day’ event in June. We’re just looking to introduce ourselves to the neighborhood,” Ready said.
“We want a permanent skatepark, a place where the kids can go on their own.”
With no designated skate parks in Hespeler, local skaters have taken matters into their own hands and created their own DIY park, on a former factory site on Sheffield Dr.
“We built our own park so that the children had a place to skate. There were just no other options,” Ready said.
“But the DIY park is technically on private property. At the moment we are on found land which we have been told is definitely a possibility for the site, but the land does not belong to the City of Cambridge at this time.”
The current landowner has allowed the City of Cambridge to test the land to see if it could be a suitable site for a skate park.
But, Ready said, the park doesn’t appear to be a priority for the city right now.
The Hespeler Needs a Skatepark group hopes to be part of Master Plan 2023 where the City of Cambridge will decide where to allocate community funds.
“A Parks Master Plan is in the initial stages of development and will look at the needs of the community in terms of parks and overall amenities,” the City of Cambridge said in an email to CambridgeToday in August.
Hespeler Needs a Skatepark has partnered with Notion Skate Co., a local skate company, to promote the idea of a park in the village of Hespeler.
“We heard about the do-it-yourself park. We wanted to be part of it,” said James Blain, co-founder of Notion Skate Co.
The company, in conjunction with Hespeler Needs a Skatepark, continues to build and clean up the DIY park, but both are ready for a more permanent location.
“I really hope to see an accessible park here in Hespeler. At present it is too far to get to Preston and this park is too small for skateboards, bikes and scooters. We need something here to accommodate everyone,” Blain said.
More fundraising events will be planned in the future for the community to participate and show their support.
“We are trying to bring that to light and we hope to see things move forward. We’d like to get some answers before winter so we can focus on fundraising and preliminary designs,” Ready said.
Ready said he hopes to see everyone come out and support these events.
“We really need everyone to come out and show their support,” Ready said. “It’s the only way to build it.”
For more information, visit Hespeler Needs a Skatepark on Instagram and Facebook