I like the idea of opening up an area near the downtown for skateboarders to use. I would caution the planners to make sure the park is multi-use just in case the skateboarding demographic becomes a shrinking part of our community and we are not left with an unused white elephant. Just look at what happened to the BMX track at the rec center: no one uses it.
Design the park with the long-term, primary purpose of making a nice green space but add in the hardscape amenities a skateboarder would use for tricks and what-not. I’m guessing a good location for the park is the vacant property on south Main Street across from the new health center. This would anchor the south end of downtown much like the new amphitheater does to the north.
I am certain someone is thinking about how to mitigate the liability issue for the inevitable injuries.
If there are surplus public funds to be spent for outdoor recreational type activities, then I would encourage our decision-makers to embrace our burgeoning cycling community and fund the construction of dedicated paths — versus bike lanes collocated with roads — to be used by both runners and cyclists alike.
A master plan could be developed, whereas biking/ jogging trails would be strategically placed throughout the county linking key recreational destinations. Right-of-way for this trail network could possibly come from abandoned rail lines, Army Corp of Engineer lake frontage and donated private lands.
On another note, our new Sweetland Amphitheater is a huge win for LaGrange. Congratulations to all who made this happen.