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Communities Weigh In On Value Of Skate Parks

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  • geneb
    *** Communities Weigh In On Value Of Skate Parks *** CORTLAND, IL -- 08/04/2006 The skate park that was built in Cortland three years ago has been a positive
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 3, 2006
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      *** Communities Weigh In On Value Of Skate Parks ***

      CORTLAND, IL -- 08/04/2006
      The skate park that was built in Cortland three years
      ago has been a positive addition to the community,
      Police Chief Russell Stokes said.

      Six-year-old Nico Dazzo and his 5-year-old brother
      Frankie enjoy the park. On Friday, they zoomed their
      bikes up and down ramps at the Cortland Community S
      kate Park.

      “It's not scary,” the elder Dazzo said as he went down a ramp.

      Their mom, Tegan Dazzo, sat under the
      shade of a tree while she watched her boys.

      “We just moved here and they're getting the hang of it,”
      she said. “It's fun for them.”

      Stokes said the skate park was needed for
      older children who wanted somewhere to skate.

      “There was no place for kids to legitimately practice this sport,”
      he said.

      Skateboarders shouldn't skate on the street, and private
      property owners were concerned about liability, Stokes said.

      “When (the skateboarders) asked, ‘Where can we go?'
      they asked a legitimate question,” he said.

      Businesspeople and developers provided financial contributions
      and materials to build the skate park at Cortland Community Park.

      “We don't see the use of the park that we did years ago,”
      Stokes said. “But it still gets a considerable amount of use.”

      Stokes said he thinks that as more communities are building
      skate parks, skaters who have transportation are getting to
      those parks. But he said Cortland is still happy to have a
      skate park.

      “Now when we come across kids using skateboards where they
      are not safe, we have somewhere to send them,” Stokes said.

      He said problems have been minimal.

      “The kids that go (to the park) seem to (get along) because they
      share the same interest,” he said. “Sometimes kids go in there with
      a BMX bike, but there's a certain respect (among the users).”

      There is concern about “tagging” or graffiti found on the skate
      park equipment, but it seems to be common at skate parks,
      and as long it isn't threatening or obscene, it shouldn't be much
      of a problem, Stokes said.

      Skate parks also can be found in DeKalb and Genoa.

      But communities such as Sandwich still don't have one.
      Sandwich Police Sgt. Mike Nelson told the city council
      last spring he is researching how much it would cost in
      donations and other funds to bring a skate park to the city.

      In Sycamore, one parent recently raised the
      question of why the city doesn't have a skate park.

      Bill Hutchens said his 16-year-old son now has more
      interests than just skateboarding, but when he was younger
      the boy and his friends didn't have anywhere to skate.

      “I drove him all over northern Illinois to skate,” he said.
      “That's what he does. I tried to get him involved in organized
      sports, but he preferred to skate. He said, ‘I don't just skate
      board just to skateboard. It's what I do.'”

      Except he has had to find someplace else to do it.

      Sycamore Police Chief Don Thomas agreed there is nowhere
      for the city's youngsters to skate, unless it's on private property
      and with permission.

      “It's a problem with every city and community (to) prohibit
      skateboards in a business district,” he said. “Walkers don't
      want to be run down, and it damages the edges of concrete.”

      Stokes does offer advice to communities
      that may want to build a skate park.

      “Choose your location wisely,” Stokes said. “You don't want
      it to be so rural it's not patrollable, but (you also don't want it)
      so close to residential property that noise is going to be a problem.”

      *PHOTO
      Frankie Dazzo, 5, rides his bike at the
      Cortland Community Skate Park on Friday.
      http://www.daily-chronicle.com/content/articles/2006/07/15/news/anews03.jpg

      Geneb...Wenatchee,Washington-USA
      All Things Northwest in BMX!
      ***** Gene`s BMX *****
      http://www.genesbmx.com
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