Charlie Teljeur: A shining example
|By Charlie Teljeur - Contributing Writer | June 21, 2018|
To cut right to the chase, the Haliburton Junction Skate Park is a phenomenal success and a shining example of what is possible in an area like this. Not just because of the mere fact the concept has fully developed from a simple idea to actual reality but more so because of how this happened, what this stands for and what we can all learn from this.
First off, the idea was an ambitious one, or at least transformed into one. The original goals were much more modest, but kudos to the organizers who realized that in this case, and in most cases for that matter, it’s often smarter not to do it than to do it with mild expectations. This is a key point that we can’t overlook. A half-baked skate park would have wasted money because nobody would have wanted to use it. If you’re going to commit to doing something, commit to doing something to the level it needs to be done. A modest skate park would really have been a waste of time and money.
The fact that Haliburton was willing to commit to the deluxe model says a lot too. If anybody had the pleasure of watching this thing being built you could tell that the project was in good hands. The people building it were truly artisans which you could see in their craftsmanship. These guys didn’t cut corners, and because of that, the resulting legacy structure is, and should be, a source of pride for the community. It’s truly a piece to build around.
This project also was truly the all-handson-deck kind with leadership and funding gathered in a real community fashion with input from both the private and public sector. This was teamwork. Those who contributed could see the value of what this could do for the community, and what it could do for the youth culture in Haliburton. I mean we always talk about this sort of thing but unfortunately most of it usually dies on the cutting room floor. This was sincerely an investment in Haliburton’s future.
What pleases me most about the Haliburton Skate Park is how out of the norm this project has turned out to be. Think about it: a tiny rural village in Ontario has a facility that rivals something you’d see in a city. No excuses or asterisks needed here. It’s a comparable facility. This is a big deal. I know portions of the public were scratching their heads over something as “useless” as a skate park but kudos to the organizing committee for persevering and seeing this through.
I think the best “endorsement” was the fact people were trying to enter the facility before the concrete had even set. Unfortunate yes but telling just the same. Now every day you go by the park there are lots of people there, of all ages in fact, enjoying this new, and evidently successful example of what’s possible when you combine boundless determined ambition with a strong community spirit.
Charlie Teljeur is a contributing writer for The Highlander.