By Caleb Slinkard
The Commerce Journal
Editor’s note: This is the second in a series of opinion articles examining the benefits of the proposed skatepark in Commerce. This week’s opinion piece will focus on the community benefits of building a skatepark in Commerce.
One of the most obvious community benefits of building a concrete skatepark is reducing the amount of skaters using streets, public stairs, railings and benches by giving them a safe place to participate in their sport.
Giving skaters their own place to compete will remove any conflicts between shop owners/Commerce residents and the local skateboarding community. This is one of the biggest complaints about the skateboarding community by local residents, and this issue can be resolved by building a skatepark.
A skatepark would also increase public acceptance of skaters and their lifestyle by making a public commitment to this important group.
A local skatepark would also raise public awareness of skateboarding as an action sport that requires skill, dedication and training similar to more traditional sports.
A skatepark would also give skaters who are too old to participate in other Parks and Recreation Department sports leagues a place to participate in an athletic program and an opportunity to stay in shape. Such a skatepark will be utilized year-round by the community by everybody from skaters to BMX bikers to scooters.
The skating youth are an important part of our local community, and a locally-built skatepark would emphasize to them that the community and city leaders care about and support them.
A skatepark would fulfill the community’s responsibility to provide local youth with adequate athletics facilities.
There are not a lot of safe, friendly environments for the youth of our community to gather. A skatepark would provide our youth with such a place, even if they’re not skaters themselves.
And, once the facility is built, the local skating community will take pride in their skatepark, preventing any vandalism or other behavior that would threaten the future use of the park.