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Skate park still more dream than reality

Norwalk Reflector Staff • Oct 29, 2015 at 12:44 PM

It's been a long ride for the dream that is Norwalk's skate park.

"It's been three years now," Darin Carlson said today.

Carlson is the Norwalk Skate Park Visionary Committee president.

"We need help from the community to get it done," he added. "The city's budget is tight. The parks and recreation department is running at a deficit and they have things they really need and would love to buy, but can't afford to do it now."

Carlson said the target location remains the same the former tennis court area on St. Mary's Street.

"Right now, the park and rec department has been busy filling in the cracks on the courts," Carlson said. "That's not a problem easily resolved either."

So far, following another fundraiser last week, the committee has raised about $14,000 for equipment.

"But phase one costs $18,000 and that's part of the problem," Carlson said. "The cost of shipping on the equipment is $1,800.

"And there is not a lot too phase one," he added. "Just a couple of ramps, couple fun boxes, a picnic table and some street elements."

Carlson said the committee wants to have another Texas Hold 'em tournament by the end of June to raise funds. "That should generate about $2,000."

The park's ultimate location causes a small problem, too.

"Since the land is owned by the school board and maintained by the city, we missed out on a couple grants," Carlson said. "We don't qualify. But we're still working on that Tony Hawk grant."

It's often hard to get a firm commitment from the skaters. "They have jobs and school," Carlson said.

"Our goal is to get the equipment on the ground and then hand it off to the city," he said. "We want to put together an advisory board made up of parents and skaters to determine how to run the park once it's open."

Carlson stressed the committee needs parents to get involved.

"That doesn't mean they have to bring money," he said. "Just bring themselves. We're not going to stop now. We're going to complete this, like it or not, but we need help from the community to get this done."

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