Cedaredge skate park in jeopardy

BEVERLY CORBELL/The Daily Sentinel
MAX BARWICK, 17, is among many young people who worked to raise money to have the Cedaredge Skate Park built last year. Now a town trustee says the park is causing problems and wants it closed unless solutions are found.

CEDAREDGE — After the Cedaredge Skate Park opened about a year ago, it was closed for weeks because a 12-year-old was injured. Now, town trustee Nelson Cederberg said the park still has “serious problems” and might have to be closed again.

Cederberg complained about the park at a recent town board of trustees meeting and said problems at the park persist.

“The kids are just using it for a hangout,” he said. “It’s after hours mainly, with smoking, illicit drugs and other things it’s hard to talk about. I’m just trying to find a solution and haven’t found it yet, but it might mean shutting it down for a period of time.”

Trustee Clayton Ryan said he was aware of problems at the park, including vandalized restrooms, but said he doesn’t want to see the park closed.

“Personally I want it open, at least ’til the snow flies,” he said. “But if it gets out of line, we will have to take some measures.”

Kids who use the park have a different perspective. Justin Engle, 13, was at the park with his friend Ambrose Sylva, also 13, and said he comes to skateboard at the park every day.

“Before the skate park, I usually skated by the stores downtown,” Engle said.

“Or you’d make ramps in your backyard,” Sylva said. “The skate park is a great thing.”

Max Barwick, 17, also comes to the park to in-line skate. He said he comes to the park during the day and hasn’t seen any serious problems.

Many Cedaredge High School students helped raised money to build the park, Barwick said. Along with help from the city and grants from Great Outdoors Colorado, the total cost was $150,000.

Barwick’s friend Kreston Keehne, 18, said the skate park fills a need for the town’s young people.

“There’s nothing else to do,” he said.

Karen Barwick, Max’s mother, said other parks in Cedaredge are “mellower” now that kids congregate at the skate park, and she doesn’t believe the problems are that serious.

“I think it’s more of an age gap in what they view as causing problems,” she said of Cederberg’s complaints. “They don’t remember what they did when they were young.”

Problems at Montrose’s skate park at Baldridge Park are common but not unmanageable, said Montrose Police Chief Tom Chinn, whose officers include it in their normal patrols.

“Any time you have a skateboard park, you have kids that want to use it for other purposes,” he said.

Delta has a skate park at Confluence Park, Delta Police Department spokeswoman Jamie Head said, and although it’s closed after dark, there are problems occasionally. Nonetheless, she sees the park as a good thing.

“Having a skate park in the community gives kids a central location, a place designed for what they’re going to do, rather than have them try to ride a curb on Main Street,” she said.


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