Skateboard park would be beneficial to Ironton

Published 9:44 am Thursday, September 25, 2008

Recently, the Ironton Recreation Department sent out requests for donations for the youth skateboard park. As with most new projects, citizens will ask how this park will benefit Ironton.

I have been asked that question several times and I think that building a skateboard park can be instrumental in the lives of our area youth. By establishing this facility, area skateboarders in the Tri-State will be provided a single location where they can attempt the exciting stunts associated with the sport and practice the beginning steps to become a skilled skateboard rider.

Currently, skateboarders are using items such as park benches, hand rails and curb sides to practice various stunts. This tends to be very hazardous and destructive because those items are not built to withstand this type of activity. Today, skateboard parks are safely built to withstand the stunts that are being performed. The park will reduce the use of private/public property that is not intended nor warranted for the use of skateboarding and onto a safe, regulated area.

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Having a “park” will allow the Ironton Recreation Department to hold a variety of activities that will bring our area youth and adults together to learn discipline, teamwork and commitment. It will also encourage pride within the youth and ultimately promote healthy lifestyles for the entire community.

There are many benefits a skateboard park can have on our community. By organizing tournaments which will generate revenue for the Recreation Department, tourists from outside our city limits will come into Ironton and purchase items which will help boost merchant sales. By creating a skateboard park, synergies will be created which will ultimately draw other sources to support this type of venue.

Our youth deserve a place where they can go have fun, display their skills and have a place to call their own. With your help we can make this park a reality and show the youth of our community that we do care about them and that we are willing to make this investment. Change is happening and the results can be seen. With all the projects currently taking place, we can see a city that is moving forward.

I ask that you support this project in any manner you can. Our youth and our city are worth investing in and the rewards will outweigh the cost. By engaging more citizens in the growth of our city, we are strengthening our neighborhoods and our entire community.

Rich Blankenship is the mayor of Ironton.