Evan Fiorito, 14, pushes for skate park in Conmee Township
A teenager's dream is getting closer to reality in a rural Thunder Bay township.
Evan Fiorito, 14, wants a skate park for his community in Conmee Township.
“I was just kind of tired of having to drive all the way into the marina, and I tried to bring my skateboard out to Kakabeka and ride it, and there's just nowhere to go,” he said.
After drumming up support in the community, last year he pitched the idea to Conmee council.
Mayor Kevin Holland was impressed with Evan's presentation.
“He had certainly done his homework,” Holland said. “He came to council with his idea. He came with a vision [and] plans. He addressed a lot of areas.”
Council approved a site, and struck a committee — on which Fiorito was asked to sit — to bring the skate park idea to life.
On Feb. 20, a company that designs and builds skate parks, New Line Skateparks Inc., will host a public workshop in Conmee to show possible designs, and get input.
Fiorito said he wants a park that is both attractive to beginners and expert boarders.
"We want it to be open for everyone, so people aren't intimidated, but then people are also not bored from it right away, so it should be an interesting park."
The process has taught him the value of patience and persistence.
“If you try hard enough, and you don't quit, you can do anything really,” he said. "It's been a really slow process but it's going to be worth it overall."
Holland said it's good to see young people take an active role in their community.
“The youth getting involved right in the planning stages, they tend to take ownership of the project more, and they will kind of police it themselves,” he said.
“We're getting indications that that is exactly what's happening at the Marina Park skate park.”
Holland added the Conmee skate park committee is already studying funding options for the project.
Conmee town hall predicts the park will cost about $200,000. Holland said businesses can be sponsors, and grant applications are being explored.