Youth ready to Chalk up City of Duncan

Young people like hanging out with their friends but what would our parks look like if they were designed by the young people themselves?

Young people like hanging out with their friends but what would our parks look like if they were designed by the young people themselves?

A new project by Safe Youth Cowichan (SYC) called Safe Spaces for Youth aims to find out.

Research a few years back found there’s a need.

Safe Youth Cowichan has received new funding from the Ministry of Justice to go to work in Kin Park and Centennial Park and are working with the municipalities on ideas.

It’s not about the kids wanting their own park, either.

“There is an assumption that youth want to be separate from adults and children in public spaces but research has shown otherwise,” Christy Villiers, Project Coordinator with Safer Futures, said last week.

“Many youth want to be included in public spaces and in the decisions being made in their communities.”

“We’re going to be building but not until September and October because we’re working with the Cowichan Trades Centre and the SD#79 Alternative Program. They shut down over the summer.”

However, there are two big “Chalk Up the City” events planned to raise awareness about what’s happening: a small one on Duncan Day, July 16 and one more evening event towards the end of August when a date can be fixed, she said.

“Then we’ll be shutting down City Square and basically arting up the Square with chalk,” Villiers said.

“It’s pretty innovative,” she said.