Having heard a number of rumors of a skate park coming to the borough, I had an opportunity to attend a presentation that Jamie Bestwick, X Games gold medalist and longtime community member, made to the Centre Region Parks and Recreation board.
He stated that people are using BMX bikes, skateboards and scooters wherever they can, often resulting in hefty fines for the young people at best and serious injury at worst.
He proceeded to outline a list of criteria that such a planned space should include. First of all, it should be easily and safely accessible, preferably near an existing bike path and ideally somewhere near the high school. The proximity of existing support functions was also noted, namely parking and access to toilets.
He also offered a number of natural design possibilities that could complement a park atmosphere, offsetting my previously biased image of a garish concrete pit marred with graffiti. In spite of some of the rumors I’ve heard to the contrary that such a move was a “done deal,” Bestwick insisted that his intention was to a begin a dialogue that would involve comprehensive community input.
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I must admit that I left this meeting having dispelled the negative rumors I’d heard. The borough parks, through the construction of numerous ball fields, have accommodated residents who are interested in organized sports. A sports action park would add another dimension for a growing population with more individual athletic interests.
James Miller, State College