Petition calls for revamp of local skate parks

BC Surf & Sport displayed a petition on the front counter of their store in the Mesa Mall. Four hundred and fifty signatures supported the revamping of local skateparks.

A sticky note on the cash register at BC Surf & Sport prompted customers to inquire about a petition. It didn’t take much persuasion to get 450 signatures. A sale’s associate’s desire for action to revamp local skate parks is gaining recognition.

Matt Thornton, a sales associate at the shop, organized the petition for revamping of the parks. He said when he moved to Grand Junction from Columbus, Ohio, he noticed skaterboarders lacked support from the community.

“We live in a thriving and healthy community and there are professionals living in the valley. Why can’t we have parks that reflect that,” he said.

Josh Castaneda, also a sales associate at the store, said that the nearest respectable skate parks are in the bigger cities such as Denver. 

“It’s hard to have to go out of town to get something more in this time, something modern,” Castaneda said.

Though Thornton organized the petition, he and the other associates started tossing out ideas about changes for the parks.

The Grand Junction area is home to five skate parks: Eagle Rim, West Lake, Longs Memorial, Palisade Memorial and theFruita Raptor. Thornton said the parks are dangerous because of the lack of maintenance. Oil from the graffiti can make the ramps slick, and inch deep cracks can trap a skateboard’s wheels.

Thornton gave the Parks and Recreation representative the petition and spoke with a representative from the Parks and Recreation department about the problems. The representative, he said, agrees that the parks need revamping.

“We never needed the signatures — we already had officials on our side,” he said.

“She gave me maps of Eagle Rim and Westlake and said that we can start expanding north with Westlake. We’re going to start our fundraising for this project, today,” Thornton said.

How they plan to raise the money isn’t clear,  but Thornton is reaching out to his employer for help.

Now, Thornton wants people to voice their opinions using a Facebook page.  If people share cost-effective change for the parks, change will happen quickly, he said.

“We can begin work in a month or two, if the suggested change is feasible,” Thornton said.

To help, check out BC Surf Grand Junction and Grand Junction Skate Park Petition on Facebook.


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