Skate park still more dream than reality

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.
Norwalk Reflector Staff
Jul 25, 2010

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."

Comments

mt (Anonymous)

These kids shouldn't be allowed to have this park. They should earn it instead of people giving money for it. I know that some of these kids are trouble makers and don't make the grades at school to do anything. Back in the day, if I didn't get good grades or was a trouble maker I didn't get to have fun. I had to earn it.

SP (Anonymous)

The skateboarders that congregate in my neighborhood absolutely do NOT deserve a skate park. One would think that these kids would be working to improve their behavior/image in the effort to gain the support of the public, they're as obnoxious and disrespectful as ever.

Disgruntled Adu...

Jeesh. It's great to know that our community still hasn't moved past judging its residents based on their age and appearance. In my opinion, helping ANY kids pursue a constructive goal can only be a good thing. What can we, as a community, do to help push this forward?

re:Disgruntled ...

Well, when these kids mess with construction sites out at Woodridge estates (I've sat and watched this), constanly get in trouble for vandelism, and are failing or doing nothing in school(which came straight from one of the fathers), why should I donate to them? They need to earn it and these actions do not help their cause. They will appreciate it more if they have to work their tails off for it. Why was the first skate park closed in the first place?

Libby (Anonymous)

I for one am a parent of young children who are not old enough to skate, but I would support their passion if that is what they wanted to do. I have seen how much work that this skate park board has done to make this possible. They have spent countless hours trying to raise money. I am dismayed to see the critism that the following comments were. These kids have a passion to skate and they need a place to do it. Then they would probably stay out of construction sites etc. And you can not tell me that a football, or baseball player has never vandelized and "skated" by in school just to make the grades to play. You have "trouble makers" everywhere. You can not judge anyone, thoses who live in glass houses should not throw stones!

James (Anonymous)

I know many of these kids that want to have a skate park and while part of me wants to help them, the rest say no as i know several kids fighting for this skate park. They smoke, drink, do drugs and i know this because they tell me. There are some very good kids that skate but maybe they should focus their efforts to using peer pressure to change the behavior and attitudes of these kids who give them a bad image. I know that if i donated money for this project, i'd want to make dang sure that no underage smoking or drinking is going on down there and that their are no drugs.

mt (Anonymous)

To James I agree with what you are saying. I would so help any kids who want to get something where they could go and have lots of fun and learn new things. Although, they seem to have focus on things that only hinder their ambitions. This is what is holding me back from any concern to help them. Do you know why the first one was shut down? That's one question nobody can seem to answer.

American 1st (A...

Let's not judge these kids on their age or appearance. Let's judge them on the drugs, drinking, smoking, vandalism, fighting, and language. How do I know? They brag about it. Let them take care of those problems first.

Beth (Anonymous)

I think the first park was shut down because of the town's insurance...I'm not positive about that though. And I would like to say that not all skaters are bad. Some of them just ruin it for others. I've known several good skaters, and even married one, and he doesn't do drugs. He turned out very well. Skating kept him out of trouble. He used to have to go to places far away because there was nothing around here. I think the kids should have somewhere to go to skate so they don't have to skate at the businesses. It really seems to me they are trying to raise money pretty hard. Mainstream sports players have fields and courts and tracks which they don't have to raise their own money for. I think people should help the skaters out.

Annie (Anonymous)

If drinking, underage smoking, troublemaking, and drug use are all criteria for not having recreational facilities, then the athletic fields need to go, too. For adults and kids.