At the February 21 Council Meeting, Chestermere Lake Middle School student Nathan Hermann was awarded the 2016 Dave Mikkelsen Award for Youth for his idea to enhance youth experiences at the Chestermere Skate Park.
“The creativity from our youth in Chestermere in their applications for the Mikkelsen Award is always thrilling,” said Chestermere Mayor Patricia Matthews. “It was Mayor Mikkelsen who started the initial connection between youth and government in our community and we’re happy to see it still thriving with the support of this award.”
Thirteen year old Nathan knew he wanted the $1,000 award to go towards an upgrade at the Chestermere Skate Park. Nathan and his friends visit the Skate Park often during the warmer months and his initial idea was to put the funds towards a water fountain. He proposed the idea as a benefit to the riders at the Park and as a way to reduce waste from plastic bottles.
In his Award application, Nathan said, “this is a place I really love to hang out at, and I know of a lot of other riders who do too [so] it would mean a lot to me if the Skate Park could get an upgrade.”
While the water fountain is beyond the budget of $1,000, Nathan is interested in looking for community sponsorship to make up the difference.
“It’s terrific that Nathan is taking the initiative to improve the Skateboard Park, and we look forward to working with him to find a way to accomplish his goal,” said Kathy Russell, Parks & Recreation Manager at the City of Chestermere.
The $1,000 Dave Mikklesen Award for Youth was established in 2010 to honour former Mayor Mikkelsen’s dedication to the City and its youth during his 12 consecutive years on Council.
Past winners have spent the money in a variety of ways to improve youth programs in our community. Twelve year old Hannah Papke used the award to make the Loop Around the Lake fundraiser more inclusive for youth and volunteer leader Megan Desplanque used the funds to start a YouTube channel directed at youth in Chestermere.
Youth and youth organizations are encouraged to start thinking of projects for the 2017 Dave Mikkelsen Award, which will open later this year. Applications are open to Chestermere youth ages 12-17 or organizations serving Chestermere youth ages 12-17. Successful endeavors eligible for this Award contribute to the enhancement of the community, support personal growth and impact the future of Chestermere in a positive and meaningful way.