Council calls on the community to help redesign the Riverslide Skate Park

Brendan Rees

A popular skate park in Alexandra Gardens is set to get a makeover with the City of Melbourne calling on the community to help improve its design.

The Riverslide Skate Park, originally built in 2000, will have its facilities updated, with the council now seeking to establish a Skate Reference Group, which will be made up of people from across the skate community to help provide feedback on the redevelopment.

The idea comes as the City of Melbourne sought the community’s feedback two years ago as to what it would like to see in the skate park’s redesign.

The works were initially scheduled for 2018-2020 and subject to council’s budget approval process, but following the disruptions of COVID-19, the council said it was now “back on track and ready” to put the community’s ideas into action.

The redevelopment of the skate park, which features a café, skate shop, and public toilets, is part of the council’s Skate Melbourne Plan 2017-2027 – which stated that the skate park along with the BMX dirt track at JJ Holland Park in Kensington had been “considered to be in poor condition” and required renewal within the next five years.

The new design proposes to include modular changes to make the park more suitable for skate demonstration events, while other additions will aim to “build on what skaters love about the current skate park and better integrate skate facilities with the surrounding environment.”

According to the Skate Melbourne Plan, it said, “quality large-scale skateable spaces attract events, a high amount of participants and spectators that can generate substantial economic benefits.”

BMX rider Ronald Holt, 36, said anything “new and improved” at the Riverslide Skate Park was welcomed.

“It needs to be modernised. When it you compare it to skate parks that have been more recently built like Noble Park and Endeavour Hills this is an old layout,” he said.

Jonathan Wignall, 35, also a BMX rider, agreed, saying the park was generous in size but changes to the park’s layout needed updating.

“I’d want bigger stuff like a bigger box jump for bike stuff. It’s also a little bit too random, they need to section it off more with smaller ramps and rails to one side so there’s less collisions,” he said.

The council is currently seeking expressions of interest for community members to form a Skate Reference Group, which will provide feedback and advice during the redesign and community consultation phase.

Once formed, the Skate Reference Group will hold meetings between June 2022 and April 2023.

A concept plan will be developed later this year while community consultation will be held at the end of this year and into early 2023.

Expressions of interest for the Skate Reference Group close May 26 with successful applicants to be notified in June •

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