Umina Skatepark urgently needs an upgrade to make it safer and more enjoyable for the whole community.

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This petition (drafted by the Umina Community Group Umina Skatepark Sub-Committee) is to demonstrate support and to prove that there is a genuine local need to upgrade The Umina Beach Skatepark. We believe that Umina (and the surrounding suburbs of Ettalong, Woy Woy, Daley's Point etc) deserves a top-quality skatepark that is free-to-use, safe, inclusive and family-orientated, and which caters for users of all ages and abilities.

The skatepark as it stands is worn out and too small to support the large local skate and scooter community as well as the many additional visitors it entertains. Our aim is to gain a commitment from Central Coast Council to access grant funding and allocate funding available in the Council Strategic Plan to improve the poor flow and safety of the park, increase it's size, to add essentials such as bins, shade, seating, and blubbers, to repair the BMX track and basketball court and thus to recreate Umina Skatepark as world class sporting precinct for our community and visitors.

Background

Umina Beach Skatepark is a medium-sized skatepark constructed primarily of concrete. It caters to skaters from beginner to transition skill level and originally opened in 1998 having been constructed for a price of $89,872*. Following drainage issues and increased demand the park was subsequently extended in 2002 at $65,000*.

The new Central Coast Council has stated that the Central Coast Strategic Plan (currently in development) will decide what portion of funding Umina Beach Skatepark receives. It's time to send a clear message to the Council: The kids of Umina need a safe, attractive, healthy skatepark. Skateparks are proven to increase health, well-being, community cohesion whilst reducing social exclusion and anti-social behaviour. The skatepark will not only benefit skatepark users, it will enhance the town and will be an asset to the whole community.

By way of comparison to the meagre Umina Skatepark construction budget, Bato Yard (located in Bateau Bay and constructed and managed by Wyong Council in August 2016) received expenditure of $2.25 million. The planned skatepark in Terrigal has already had $500,000 pledged by the Federal Government with more funding in the pipeline.

Only minor maintenance and changes have been made to Umina Beach skatepark since work finished in 2002, despite this venue being in constant use by up to 30 skaters and scooter riders daily (and double this on weekends). Its rare and outstanding location - literally next to the beach - is a stark contrast to the quality of the park and it's associated facilities. Surface issues are just the tip of the iceberg; we surveyed local skaters and scooter users and heard first-hand about the myriad safety issues; poor flow of the park, bad drainage, cracked and worn concrete, and the hot desolate sandbowl surrounding the skatepark that blows sand and debris in with the slightest breeze.

The skatepark needs a full upgrade to make the park user-friendly and safe for all users, and most importantly to encourage healthy outdoor activities for local youth whose physical and mental health and wellbeing stand to benefit most from this facility being improved.

 

Some of the issues documented at the skatepark include:

- lack of shade (trees or shelter) for users and spectators

- no seating (skaters and spectators must sit on hot concrete or in the dirt around the park)

- no 'bubbler' (water fountain) in close proximity

- no lighting (making the park unusable and unsafe on winter evenings)

- poor accessibility (spectators must cross a sandy field to reach the park - there is no path or ramp)

- no bins nearby

Please join us in informing Central Coast Council that Umina Skatepark is a key feature of our local community, but that we are letting our kids down by allowing the park to stagnate and degrade while the rest of the area grows and improves. Our kids' health and wellbeing should be first of mind, and skateparks are an easy and proven way to keep kids active, healthy, and out of trouble.

Please sign and "share", and leave a comment as we'd love to hear your ideas.

 

References:

- Previous Gosford Council skatepark survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/TSYBGRX

- Gosford Council minutes 2001: http://search.gosford.nsw.gov.au/documents/00/04/33/54/0004335431.pdf

- https://coastcommunitynews.com.au/central-coast/news/2017/07/banjos-skate-park-upgrades-terrigal-lagoon-reserve/

- https://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/newslocal/central-coast/professional-riders-line-up-to-showcase-exciting-new-world-class-skate-park-facility-at-bato-yard/news-story/74526e8fdcb8b997beed5fee115ebe0e

 

Further reading:

The 6 Benefits of Skateparks: https://www.spohnranch.com/the-top-6-benefits-of-public-skateparks-2014-03-02/



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