Skate park proposal discussed at meeting

Friday, May 31, 2002

Local skateboarders and their supporters once again voiced the need for a skateboard park in Cape Girardeau at a Parks and Recreation public informational meeting held Thursday at the Osage Community Centre.

"I've been hearing about a skate park for a few years now," Truevon Alford, a local skateboarder said. "I'm just glad they're finally doing something about it."

Dan Muser, Parks and Recreation director, felt the meeting went well since it was only a babystep in the whole process.

"Frankly, I'm pretty enthused," Muser said.

During the meeting things such as site possibilities, funding and possible construction materials were discussed.

An informational video provided by Skatepark International was used to show the possible benefits of a skate park made with steel obstacles.

Muser stressed that there has been no decision on what material the skate park will be made of though.

Funding was a major topic of concern as well. At this time Muser doesn't feel that there is city funding available for a skate park.

Grassroots effort

"There has to be a grassroots community support from the users and parents forming a club or an organization," Muser said. "That gives it a little more validity. That gives it an organization that can go out with us and raise funds."

Although less than 20 people attended the meeting, Muser still feels positive that there is enough interest to necessitate a skateboard park.

"I think there is more interest out there than what came," Muser said. "Next meeting we'll do a press release and make it more advertised and maybe we'll get more people."

Alford feels that the support is there as well. "They're more than willing to come," he said. "This is something pretty much every skater has wanted in this area."

Muser stated that Washington Park could be a possible site for the skateboard park, but that at the moment there really isn't any timetable on the project.

"I'm just afraid I'll be 20 before it's even built," Josh Boswell, 15, said.

Alford is confident that the skateboarders will be able to find support from local businesses in order to help fund the project.

"I think if they see the fact we want to get an organized place and not terrorize them, and they just see us having fun, they'll want to support us," Alford said. "There's just been a misunderstanding on the part of the businesses. It's not like we're trying to disrespect businesses, we just want to skate."

jjoffray@semissourian.com

335-6611, extension 226

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