Dedication planned for Ironton skate park

Published 11:27 am Thursday, July 31, 2014

Four years after opening, the skate park on Etna Street in Ironton will have its official dedication on Saturday.

From 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m. a skateboard and bike rodeo will take place at the park on Fourth and Etna streets to promote helmet awareness.

“In May (the Ironton Health Department) partnered with several groups and put on a bike rodeo at the Farmers Market,” Laura Brown, Ironton city health commissioner, said. “Approximately 50 children showed up, went through the course and received a free helmet.”

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The Lawrence County Sheriff’s Office, Ironton Police Department, Mayor Rich Blankenship, Dickess Auto Repair, Advance Auto Parts, the Ironton Health Department and the Friends of Ironton are sponsors for the event.

Guest speaker will be Matt Herbert from the St. Mary’s Medical Center safety and prevention program.

“There will be a bike rodeo and skateboard safety tips with free helmets while supplies last,” Brown said. “I encourage everyone to bring your child and a bike or skateboard and enjoy the event.”

Use of helmets by children ages 4 to 15 could prevent between 135 and 155 deaths, between 39,000 and 45,000 head injuries and between 18,000 and 55,000 scalp and face injuries annually.

Blankenship said grants helped pay for the park’s construction but most of the money was generated through donations from the community.

“We got a grant from the Tony Hawk Foundation and one from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources,” he said. “But we raised $30,000 through donations.”

A survey of school-aged children, Blankenship said, showed other than a waterpark, a skate park was what they wanted most.

“The kids wanted it,” he said. “It gets utilized by (the kids) and they take really good care of it.”