Cornwall Youth Space Committee Updates

Cornwall Youth Space Committee Updates
Cornwall Youth Space Committee at Alexander Park (Photo : Photo : Cornwall Youth Space)

The Cornwall Youth Space Committee is spearheading an initiative to create a dedicated recreational area for the city’s youth at Alexander Park. This project aims to address the significant lack of suitablespaces for young people.

The envisioned Cornwall Youth Space will include various amenities designed to meet the needs of today’s youth. These features include a gazebo with Wi-Fi, an updated basketball court, additional lighting, graffiti walls, garden boxes, chess tables, an outdoor gym, and more. The goal is to provide a safe and engaging environment where young people can connect, engage, and grow.

The initiative began in 2022 after incidents at Ribfest highlighted the need for more youth activities. Terry Muir, a community volunteer, noted the impetus behind the project: “It became evident at some of our festivals that the youth have nothing to do, and so they tend to congregate, and people push them away… We have to go and deal with it at our events, so it told me that there must be something missing for youth and that we should give them something to do.”

Key figures behind the project include Terry Muir, Constable Casey MacGregor of the Cornwall Police Service, retired Sergeant Scott Coulter (who has since stepped down from the committee), Melanie Boileau of the Social Development Council (SDC) of Cornwall & Area, and community volunteer Mandy Prevost. The SDC, a major partner and sponsor, has supported the project. Mandy Prevost has meticulously crafted the design of the Cornwall Youth Space at Alexander Park, using ideas generated by the Youth Committee.

The committee’s presentation to the Cornwall City Council in October 2022 received overwhelming approval, and public consultations confirmed strong neighborhood support, with residents even offering to help maintain the space during the winter.

A Youth Advisory Council, composed of young individuals from diverse backgrounds, has been formed to ensure the space meets the unique needs of today’s youth. Reflecting on the input from the youth council, Muir said, “It was an eye-opener meeting with the youth committee and listening to them… They mostly want a place to hang out, chill, and enjoy themselves.”

The Cornwall Youth Space Committee has already had some smaller fundraisers and sponsorship from community partners, with a Park Run event scheduled for June 22 from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at Alexander Park in Cornwall. Cody Taylor of New Normal will be running 50 kilometers to raise funds for the project. The event will award prizes to the top contributing individual and team.

The Cornwall Youth Space Committee has received generous contributions from local businesses. Emard Bros. Lumber, Fines Home Hardware, BMR Cornwall, Cornwall Gravel, and Bourgon Construction are supporting the gazebo construction. In addition, Central Healing Counselling Inc., Cornwall Concrete Products, and Lasting Impressions Landscaping are contributing to theconstruction of the safe space within the park.

Constable Casey MacGregor emphasized the project’s significance: “This project is designed by our youth and funded by the community. Every teenager and youth need an outlet. There’s no real freerecreation in Cornwall, and we will be giving them the opportunity to have free recreation.” MacGregor added, “We had met with Roy Perkins from BMR, and he said it perfectly: It is our responsibility as a community to build this park for our youth.”

The committee has applied for the necessary building permits and is awaiting approval to begin construction. Once the permits are secured, work on the Cornwall Youth Space will commence, bringing the community one step closer to realizing this much-needed project.

Share this article