As you drive by Simplot Central Park in Portage la Prairie, you'll see locals using the skatepark, but there is still more work to do.

Melissa Draycott, chair of the Portage la Prairie Parks Committee, says it is amazing for her to see the park in use as soon as the snow melted.

"It is so thrilling to go by and see all the components of Simplot Central Park being used every single time that there's sunshine, sometimes even when it's raining."

She says the parks committee is enthusiastic about the skate park taking shape.

"We have lots of kids and adults using it. With skateboards, inline skates, and BMX bikes. You can see everybody out there during the day and on the weekends when we've got some nice weather happening here."

While being ready for use, Draycott says that they aren't finished with the skatepark.

"As you can see when you visit, there is lots of dirt, so we are looking to do some landscaping this spring, hopefully fairly soon," she continues. "The Rotary Skatepark is almost complete in phase one, but you are able to use it. We just ask that you are respectful of the area and please don't spread the dirt all over the place."

file photoMelissa Draycott.

Next up for the project? Add a skate bowl for more high-level skaters and beautify the rest of the park, according to Draycott.

"The bowl is phase two of the Rotary Skatepark. It is going to be attached to the existing skatepark, but it is a separate entity. It's not so much for amateur use. We really wanted to have phase one complete, where if you were a novice or an expert, you could come in, drop into the park, and enjoy that facility. The bowl does require a little bit more skill to use. That was our secondary component of it. Of course, there will be additional landscaping around that, and we are hoping to work with the city to do some pathways through the park."

She states that a timeline for total completion is hard to gauge as the project is very weather-dependent.

"If we do have some rain come in, then, of course, that slows us down for getting sod laid, and we don't want to say that we're completely done with the skate park because we are still looking at phase two of the skate park, which we're really going to dig in, and do some fundraising."

Draycott notes that the Parks Committee will start to focus more on other areas of Portage following the implementation of the skatepark.

Anyone who is looking to donate to the Parks Committee and their projects can do so at City Hall.

"We're really hoping to finish up the park in the next little while and have a very nice recreational hub, which is what we envisioned many, many years ago, and we are so close to just finalizing that."