SKATE PARK PLANNING

During the evening of 11.12.03, the town Recreation and Parks Department (RPD) conducted a meeting with those interested in the skate park which is included as part of the Master Plan.  Personnel from from RPD, the town's Youth Opportunities Program and the Police Department participated.  A member of the Recreation and Parks Advisory Board (the Board) was present.  Approximately 60 young people and a dozen adults attended.

The RPD explained that it and the Board supported the plan for a skate park and that the Town Council's approval of the Master Plan (see following section of Chairman's Letter) means that what is in the plan is "appropriate".  Additional information included the approximate size of the proposed skate park (125' x 100') and it's location (existing roller hockey court).  It was announced that literature from planners/designers/manufacturers of skate parks is available from the town.  RPD explained that because work is just beginning to develop required details under the Master Plan, the objective of the meeting was to solicit ideas from the young people who would use the skate park.

To gather the ideas, RPD provided three categories and called for suggestions from the group at large.  The categories and a few of the many suggestions are listed here.
Design Process: no wood, trash cans, galvanized metal, rails everyone can do, mini ramp, cover
Rules and Regulations: users>5 years old, no scooters, free use for residents, protection equipment optional, the subject of adult supervision was included and left open
Fundraising: candy drive, car wash, corporate and individual donations, skate event or skate teaching with fees to participate, volunteer labor, profits from concession stand

RPD called for the young people to divide into sub-committees and work with the town staff to start developing proposals for submittal to the (overall) adult committee that will work on the Master Plan.  Some general guidance provided by RPD included the following:
- all proposed suggestions, including those that arise after the meeting underway, will not be accepted, e.g. a cover for the park is too expensive,  the Park and Youth advisory boards do not support lights; 
- participation in this planning process is not restricted to the committee structure, the young people were encouraged to exchange ideas and solicit them others not present.

The three sub-committees were broken out by category:
Design Process- 13 young people, RPD guidance;
Rules and Regulation- 20 young people, Police Department guidance;
Fundraising- 17 young people, RPD guidance.

The committees organized themselves and assigned tasks to be undertaken, such as research at neighboring towns.  Follow-up meetings were scheduled for the weeks of 11.16.03.  The Youth Opportunities Coordinator worked with each sub-committee.