A skateboarding plan

Tuesday, June 22, 2004

A lesson in practical civics is unfolding in Jackson. Skateboarding enthusiasts are meeting regularly with city officials to work out a design for a skateboarding park. Both sides are learning something from the exchange.

Two Optimist clubs in Jackson have pledged $60,000 for a skateboarding park. But skateboarders were initially unimpressed, saying they feared the new park wouldn't be challenging enough.

Then city officials asked the skateboarders what they wanted. And the skateboarders have been offering their suggestions.

In the end, the skateboarders won't get the dream park most of them would like. Such a park would cost far more than either the city or the Optimist clubs can afford. But, for $60,000 plus some good ideas, Jackson skateboarders will get a park that is to their liking rather than someone else's idea of what a skateboarding park should be.

Jackson officials deserve a pat on the back for asking the skateboarders for their advice. And the skateboarders deserve a pat on the back for participating in the planning meetings. Together, they are learning the art of compromise and the advantages of innovation.

Limited resources need not be a barrier to a worthwhile project. In Jackson, a cooperative spirit will go a lot further than any amount of money.

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