Boys and girls club to have park presence

The sky is the limit, said Boys and Girls Club of Williams Lake executive director Matt Neufeld of a new pop-up park.

The sky is the limit, said Boys and Girls Club of Williams Lake executive director Matt Neufeld of a new pop-up park that will operate this summer in the lakecity.

“Staff will be at the skate park from 3:30 to 8 p.m. each day offering activities for everyone,” Neufeld said.

“We will advertise when we will be there and what we are doing — whether it’s ultimate frisbee or ball hockey, things like that.”

Neufeld proposed the pop-up park to city council in March after a teenaged boy was robbed of his BMX bike at gunpoint at the skate park on Feb. 22.

“It’s really a simple solution,” Neufeld said, noting when he worked in Maple Ridge he ran a similar program there.

City council did not hesitate to approve $14,000 from general revenue to fund the project, Mayor Walt Cobb said.

“It is a great idea because it will get more activity in the park,” said Cobb.

“The staff will have two-way radios with them if anything does come up, but we hope having a presence there will keep negative things from happening.”

Three youth workers were hired and will begin offering the program on Wednesday, June 15.

“They will be going to the park on the first day to get the lay of the land and survey people in the park about what programs they would like to see,” Neufeld said. “We won’t know what it will look like until we are in the mix. They will probably be planning on a daily basis.”

It will be about making sure staff asks the public the right questions, he added.

Six RCMP officers qualified to conduct bike patrols will also be frequenting the park, Neufeld said.

Telus has committed to running a fundraising campaign for the pop-up park program.

Williams Lake Tribune