Archive for Wednesday, May 23, 2001

Editorial: Let’s make skate park a reality in Tonganoxie

May 23, 2001

A plan by several youths to try to construct a skate park in Tonganoxie deserves strong community support.

And the four local boys who presented the idea recently to the Tonganoxie Recreation Commission and then to the Tonganoxie City Council deserve the praise of our community. Their efforts should be applauded. They saw what they believe to be a need in the community, they determined a way to fill that need, and they've been trying to implement that solution.

Lawrence's skate park where bicycles, rollerblades and skateboards are welcome is wildly popular. And there's reason to believe that a similar park in Tonganoxie would be popular with the city's young people.

It's illegal to ride bicycles, blades or boards on Tonganoxie's downtown sidewalks, where some mighty fine concrete exists.

The young people who are lobbying for the skate park say they're interested in having some fun and perfecting a few moves on their bikes, blades and boards.

They've circulated petitions, which have been met with strong support.

It stands to reason that if these young people have taken on the responsibility of this project, they'll also be responsible enough to wear sufficient protective gear to make their sports safer. It's imperative skaters and bikers wear helmets, as well as knee and elbow pads.

The benefits of skating or bike riding, according to the boys, is very similar to other sports.

"Like when you do a trick you didn't think you could do, it's really fun and it makes you feel good like you've accomplished something," said Luke Stevens, one of the youngsters working to establish the park in Tonganoxie.

The boys now have support from the city council, and soon they'll begin looking at ways to raise money and find donated time and materials for a skate park.

The city should, if at all possible, find a way to implement it.

Far too often, children and adults see problems, but don't act on them. All members of the community can take a lesson from these boys, who've decided to see if they can build grassroots support for their project.

They are to be commended for the mature way they've approached this issue.

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