Skatepark in Action

The color we choose was burgundy, and it complemented the jumps and ramps, as they are black and gray in color. After the color coating was completed we installed some benches, trash containers, and a payphone that can only be used for outgoing emergency calls.

The installation of the phone was a bit of concern due to vandalism, but we felt that if an emergency occurred it was in the best interest of the resident to have access to the phone to dial 911 and get help to the facility.

In the design phase we felt it necessary to have access to the facility for future work inside the skatepark, or if an ambulance needed to gain egress into the park.

A 10′ double gate was installed in the perimeter fencing to gain access to the skatepark just for these above-mentioned reasons.

Also, a 7′ rotary turnstile was installed at the entrance. This was installed to help discourage BMX bikes from gaining access to the park, as we do not allow bikes and skate boards to use the park at the same time.

Having both types of equipment in the park at the same time is a safety concern, and at this time we just won’t allow them in together. In the future, if there’s a need for a separate bike area we will certainly look into a facility for them.

The skatepark was now ready for the grand opening, which was very successful, being well attended by parents and skaters.

We arranged to have some of the kids’ favorite bands on hand to play all of their favorites. And of course their favorite drink, Red Bull, was there as well! Red Bull actually sponsored the band and the drinks.

The Board of Commissioners cut the ribbon and the park was opened and has been used heavily ever since.

After the opening, however, we noticed an increase in the refuse inside the skating area. The kids are pretty good at picking up after themselves, but we still need to visit the park every day to clean it up.

Another issue is the graffiti… Staff members inspect the equipment on a daily basis, and look for damaged equipment, stickers or graffiti on the equipment. All graffiti is removed daily, and will be until the kids stop doing it. So far, very few problems have arisen from the skaters.

The materials that are used in construction bode well for graffiti clean-up. The 3/4″ polyethylene panels are easy to clean off with any brand of graffiti remover. We have been able to remove paint with a local company’s brand called 1st Ayd (aerosol) #10 vandal and mark remover.

This graffiti remover is used on our playgrounds to remove markers and paint with only a soft cloth or scrub brush. There is no exposed wood anywhere, so stickers, paint or markers can be easily removed with little effort.

As far as discouraging stickers, we’ve had some conversation with the skaters and asked them not to apply the stickers, with mixed results. Some of the skaters are very understanding and have listened, and even stopped others from applying them to the equipment.

However, there have been a couple of kids who choose not to listen, and don’t adhere to the rules. So, we’ve informed the skaters if vandalism gets out of hand we will close down the skatepark for awhile to show we are serious about our rules and regulations.

At this point, we haven’t had to close the park down. The word is out that we will adhere to our posted rules and have violators ticketed or even arrested. This may seem very hard-nosed, but our staff feels that if the skaters are aware of the rules from the beginning there will be no major infractions, and it can be enjoyed by all who use it.

The skaters have respected others while using the equipment. The equipment we have is for all levels of skill. The more seasoned skaters have respected the beginners’ abilities, and have been very gracious as the facility has been at its capacity during heavy use periods on the weekends.

Usage Trends

Our skatepark is open from 9 a.m. to dusk. So far we have had some kids inside when it was closed. But after explaining the reasons why they have to leave they go without much resistance.

It is most heavily used from the time school is out in the afternoon to all day long on the weekends. The kids have waited so long for a place to skate that whenever they have free time it is used.

Skaters are there early in the morning until dark. Some skaters even have been caught by the police skating after 11 p.m. in total darkness!

Someone from our staff visits the park every day now for inspections and trash removal, and we’ve developed a rapport with some of the regular skaters. We have found that a lot of them are coming from great distances to use our facility.

We have discovered that talking to the kids and getting to know them will help them to realize that we care about their needs, and are willing to listen to what are they are asking for. This will build ownership on their part to see we do care, and will respond to their requests.

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  1. Creating A Skatepark
  2. The Skatepark Decision, Part 1
  3. Feeling Minnesota
  4. Blending Boards
  5. Home Sweet Home
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