It was widely anticipated that the was going to shut down the because of “extreme budget constraints.” For now, that’s not happening.
“As far as I can tell, we’ve raised enough money to keep us open until the end of the summer,” skate park manager Bob Kerr said. “Now we’re just buying more time to hopefully buy more time.
Kerr, who’s a longtime skater, said they raised “around $5,000” to keep the skate park open for the summer. Built in 2002, the skate park has been a place for skaters to ride for free at a designated area and off the streets. He said he thinks it would be a bad idea if the park ever shut down.
“I think, personally, that it’s going to mean a bunch of kids out on the street skating private property and vandalism,” Kerr said. “Kids not having enough to do so they’re doing stupid stuff that turns into crime.
“A lot of teenagers don’t have a lot of free activities around the community so this is a good place for them to come.”
Kerr also said that many skaters that come to the park are from single-parent families. He feels for them because he grew up not knowing his father until three years ago.
Danny Hernandez, who turns 11 this weekend, is one of those skaters and the park is his refuge.
“Most people here don’t have a dad or a mom,” he said. “I grew up without a dad … I only saw him when I was eight (years old). This place, I kind of feel like these people are my new brothers.”
Hernandez also says that coming to the park is great stress relief from everyday life.
“Here I can calm myself down after a hard day of school,” he said. “I have all my friends here.”
With the park safe for the summer, there’s still work ahead to keep it open.
“I’ve got a snack bar that’s generating a little bit of money,” Kerr said. “We have some skate camps going. We’re hoping to have a lot more kids come in the next couple of weeks.
“Now that we’ve got two more months to work with, then that just means we can gather more money and hopefully keep it open for more months. I think we’re going to be month-to-month for a little while.”
It may be month-to-month for now, but the park is still open.
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