Skatepark Needs Your Help

Brady Jackson, Guest Contributor

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Schurman-Grubb Memorial Skatepark began its construction following a vehicular collision that fatally wounded skateboarders Zach Grubb and Todd Schurman as they were biking down a country road in the Fall of 2015. Construction of the park was and still is funded by community donations. There was an ample number of donations being received in 2015 and 2016, and around $150,000  was raised to complete phases one and two of the park’s construction. However, a recent lack of donations leaves the skatepark in need of nearly $95,000 to complete the third and final phase. There are a number of fundraisers that help collect money for the park, such as the Oktoberfest game of S.K.A.T.E. (similar to the basketball game H.O.R.S.E.), the Seymour Adult Kickball League, and the Seymour Adult Dodgeball League, but these just aren’t enough.

Not only is the park (which is a memorial for two community teenagers) left incomplete, but it is also treated with blatant disrespect by many in the community. Some people come to the park to fight or use drugs which leads to a bad reputation for skaters. Spectators (who aren’t supposed to be in the skatepark) accidentally get in the way of skaters, which is dangerous for both spectators and skateboarders alike. Some even leave cigarette butts on the ground, which can cause skaters to wipe out. Another common issue with spectators is spilled drinks. Spilled soda is an obstruction to skaters, and sometimes spills are left uncleaned for weeks. This can leave a large percentage of the park unfit for use.

Although the skatepark has its struggles, it’s still a huge benefit to the community. For many people, the skatepark is their place to get away, similar to a football field or a baseball diamond for others. Skateboarding can become a hobby for somebody who doesn’t like team sports or organized leagues. It’s a great hobby for kids because skateboarding typically isn’t competitive, so they can learn and progress at their own pace. There is a program being organized that would allow kids interested in skateboarding to meet experienced skaters at the park and take lessons from them. While skateboarding has long been represented as a negative activity, it’s actually a great way for people from all different backgrounds to interact, as well as a fun way to exercise.

Donations can be made at the Parks and Rec Office in City Hall. Tell them it’s for the skatepark or write “skatepark” in the memo box if it’s a check. There is not currently a way to donate online, but there will be soon. Information on how to donate online will be here as soon as possible. All donations are appreciated. Thank you from all the local skateboarders.

Addition: A gofundme page is set up for donations. Check it out.  The skaters appreciate EVERY donation!