Designed by Jim Barnum of Spectrum Skateparks, the skatepark features a large triple bowl, a streetscape, a flow area and a small bowl, and is already gaining a reputation as one of - if not the best - skateparks in eastern Canada because of its innovative design and features.
“To the uninitiated, it may appear as though skaters are just out getting gnarly, having fun and collecting assorted abrasions and contusions. However, under this guise, they are secretly honing core life skills and building lifelong friendships: having experiences that will serve them the rest of their lives,” said Barnum.
Situated adjacent to Queens Place Emera Centre, a newly built BMX Track, basketball nets, an outdoor walking trail, and a sledding hill are also located on the property.
“The opening of the Mersey Skatepark is the culmination of many years work by supportive people, and speaks volumes to our community’s commitment to a cause and the generosity of our citizens,” said Region of Queens Mayor David Dagley.
“The Mersey Skatepark has caused much excitement in the skateboarding community throughout Nova Scotia and has been shared across the country on social media by skateboarders excited to ride this exceptional park. It has great potential to provide quality recreational opportunities to our youth, as well as adults."
And, he added, it could become a tourism draw.
"It also has the potential to engage and excite visitors, and to encourage those in other parts of the province to make the trip to Queens to ride what is known currently as the best skatepark in Eastern Canada. It’s exhilarating to see the near constant use of this park in the short time since it has been completed,” he said.
A skatepark has been a dream for more than a decade. The formation of the Queens County Skatepark Association in 2012 and a donation of land and $200,000 cash from the Region of Queens got the wheels moving on the project. Community support through fundraising was huge, with QCSA receiving $330,000 through fundraising and donations.
“Kristen, Angus, Ivy and I just want to say the park looks fricking amazing,” said Dr. David Gunn, past chairman of Queens County Skatepark Association. “We are really proud to have been part of its creation and hope everyone back in Queens has a lot of fun there this year.”
Lisa and Karen Murphy, the daughters of the late Dr. Bill Murphy, his wife Janet, and board members of the J & W Murphy Foundation also offered their congratulations on the completion of Mersey Park.
“We should not have been surprised when our 82-year-old dad ‘got’ Drs. Gunn and Blackadar’s vision for the Mersey Skatepark from their first pitch. He grasped immediately how such a facility could encourage active lifestyle choices for Queens’ young people without creating cost barriers to participation. Congratulations to everyone involved for bringing the Mersey Skatepark to such sparkling life. The J&W Murphy Foundation is proud to have played such a supporting role in its creation.”