McNabb – Charlie Skatepark
Charlie Bowins Skateboard Park is a local landmark and a mecca for skateboarders in our city. The park is named in commemoration of Charlie Bowins who used to teach Ottawa youth to skateboard and who was instrumental in establishing the skateboarding community in Ottawa.
Charlie Bowins worked as a camp counsellor for six summers and was a skateboard instructor at McNabb Park, at Bronson and Gladstone avenues.He was also a volunteer with For Pivot’s Sake, a non-profit organization founded to support at risk youth through skateboarding.
The OSA spearheaded this project from start to finish including lobbying, grant writing, fundraising and significant influence on design.
The OSA spent the winter of 2014 working on an application for The Community Partnership Major Capital Program, a grant through the City of Ottawa that would match, dollar for dollar, what was raise for phase 2 of the McNabb Skate Park. Having to come up with $100,000 for the second phase, OSA hoped to receive the grant and lower the fundraising goal to a more realistic $50,000 with the grant’s funding covering the other half.
In early 2015, the board made their decision on the applicants. A city official got in touch to let our community know we didn’t get the grant. However, upon reviewing our application, reading the research and statistics on the positive impact this park will have, and recognizing the overwhelming support of the downtown community behind this fundraising effort, the City offered to pay the remaining amount owed for phase 2!
We at OSA are eternally grateful to every person who dropped change in a community donation jar at the many local shops and businesses who kindly host them. For every person who came out or took part in OSA fundraising events, every business who has supported us and hosted events for #1SquareFoot, and so many others who made the skate park happen.