Kids push skate park in Epsom

SKATE PARK PUSH: Izaak Evans, Daniel Thomas, Adam Boell-Heard and Zachary Knapman watch Aidan Baldwin's trick. Picture: DARREN HOWE
SKATE PARK PUSH: Izaak Evans, Daniel Thomas, Adam Boell-Heard and Zachary Knapman watch Aidan Baldwin's trick. Picture: DARREN HOWE

A 12-year-old boy has won the ear of council in his push to get a skate park built in Epsom. 

Aidan Baldwin and his mum Kerryn circulated a petition requesting the City of Greater Bendigo build a skate park in their fast-growing neighbourhood. 

Now council has agreed to meet the petitioners to talk about where and when it could be built. 

Every weekend for the past year Aidan Baldwin has nagged his mum to drive him to the Eaglehawk skate park.

Now the 12-year-old Epsom boy is badgering council to build him and his mates a skate park closer to home.

“Without fail he nags me,” Kerryn Baldwin said. “It’s either Eaglehawk or occasionally the McIvor Highway.

“There’s a group around here and some of the mums take turns to car pool one … but it’s rarely under six hours they’re gone for.”

Not that she’s complaining. The child care educator said it was fantastic to see the kids exercising. 

“It’s better than them sitting around paying Playstation,” Ms Baldwin said.

But instead of whinging, the Epsom Primary grade 6 student circulated a petition. And at the first meeting of the new City of Greater Bendigo council, he submitted it. 

City active and healthy community manager Lincoln Fitzgerald said the council supported the skate park and would meet the petitioners to discuss where and when it would be built.

“We actually have it on our forward agenda to look at local-scale skate facility in the Epsom and Huntly area,” Mr Fitzgerald said.

”But we haven’t yet determined a location or design. So part of that meeting with the petitioners will be to discuss with them potential locations and a realistic timeline.” 

The city manager said council had plans for a number of skate park redevelopments and new facilities over coming years.  

He said the number one priority was a redesign of the McIvor Road skate park into a “district-scale” facility, a plan which the city had applied for funding in the 2017/18 financial year.

“After that we’ll look at a number of local-scale skate parks in growth areas,” Mr Fitzgerald said.

“I don’t want to forecast too far ahead but Kangaroo Flat has a higher than average growth rate and obviously the Epsom/Huntly area would be looked at. 

“We also need to be cognisant of growth in Strathfieldsaye and Maiden Gully.” 

But Mr Fitzgerald said Ms Baldwin should not expect her son to stop nagging her for a lift to Eaglehawk anytime soon. He said the proposed Epsom/Huntly skate park would take time. 

“It going to be a number of years,” he said. “In the meantime we’ll talk to the petitioners about what they can do to help us with local fundraising and also input into what type of skate park they want and what it might look like.”