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Letter: Skate park needed

Since spring has arrived, I’ve noticed on every street that there are kids on skateboards. I’ll pass more than a dozen on Chapman and Wells streets on my way to the store depending on the time of day.

Which raises the question: Why hasn’t the town rebuilt its former skate park?

As a working adult in my mid-30s, my own skateboarding days are long gone, but fondly remembered. I remember most the fact that, as teenagers, we were always getting in trouble for skating where we were not welcome in spite of our requests for a park.

It’s worth noting that according to the Sporting Goods Manufacturers Association, in 2004, there were over 11 million skateboarders in America: more people than play baseball.

It has been around as a legitimate sport for over 50 years, with international championships, corporate sponsorships, schools and summer camps. The local group Skate Greenfield has almost 350 members on its Facebook page. Their informational booth at the Little e had many interested parents and teenagers asking about a skate park.

It would be wonderful to see the town build another one. In the meantime, a temporary skatepark designated for the summer would give kids a place to go. Equipment owned and brought by the skaters themselves could be set up by them each day.

It doesn’t have to cost the town anything. There are several great locations for this, such as the middle school and Lunt property, that are unused in the summer. The key would be to have it be central to downtown, highly visible and accessible. There’s tremendous demand from parents and kids for a skate park in town and it’s about time that it gets addressed before school’s out. Other sports get plenty of town space: why not this one?

JOSEPH P. KOPERA

Greenfield

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