Frequent skatepark visitor Heather Olson

Frequent skatepark visitor Heather Olson

Putting their nose to the grindstone

Dozens of youth came to the South Surrey Skatepark to help paint over graffiti Tuesday.

People ranging from age five to 25 flocked to the South Surrey Skateboard Park Tuesday, but it wasn’t the sun that drew the crowd.

Armed with paint, brushes and rollers, the two dozen youth painted over graffiti covering up the bowl and skatepark.

The painting was part of an event organized by the Surrey RCMP’s Community Safety Officers and Surrey Parks, Recreation and Culture.

“We got this idea after hearing complaints about graffiti and drugs at the skatepark,” said South Surrey community safety officer Susan Caley. “We spoke to the kids and they said they don’t want to have the drug-dealers and the graffiti at their park, so we’re helping them take it back.”

Despite the heat, the group worked through the afternoon, covering up the spray-painted expletives and tags with paint.

Tristan Burton, 12, said that despite the hard work, the tradeoff was worth it.

“It’s really cool. It’s way better than a bunch of F-words and all that,” he said.

Helpers were treated to snacks organized by the RCMP, while music played from the DJ booth.

And while the event was a success, Caley said she is not sure if the painting will be a regular activity.

“At the moment it’s based on need. If we need to do it again, we might.”