City of Fort Bragg, CA: Re-Open the Fort Bragg Skate Park/Re-Assess Current Policies and Procedures
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The Fort Bragg Skate Park was created for and by the community, skateboarders and skateboarding supporters. The intent was to have a fun and safe skatepark for the community to use for skateboarding (at-risk youth, teens in transition, low income families, especially) and in addition to that, a park that would draw in Pro teams and the tourists that visit the area that enjoy board sports.
Many skateboarders have been cited for lack of helmet/protective gear and charged a $100 fine each time. We witnessed a skater that was cited even though he was wearing a helmet because he was seen not wearing one the previous day. There are many stories like this. Skateboarders are being banned from the park in addition to the citations.
The park closure was due to trash, vandalism and helmet non-compliance, yet many of the skaters wear helmets and it is stated that upon entering the skatepark you are using the park at your own risk. Skateboarders are not going to trash a place that we enjoy skating, waited a long time for and worked for over many years. Skateboarders know the limits of their abilities and if they need a helmet in the bowl, they will to wear one. We agree that children and beginners should always wear their protective gear. Please note, however, that parks with extremely strict protective gear enforcement rarely get used and are seen as an un-inviting destination. Ideally, local law enforcement would gauge the situation fairly, knowing there are worse crimes being committed elsewhere.
Thank goodness we did not have any protective gear enforcement issues when a Pro team decided to make our park a stop on their tour! That would have been bad press. Regardless, older skaters look out for the young ones and encourage them to learn everything from new tricks to how to understand the flow/traffic of the park. When it's a good day at the skatepark, the vibe is supportive, nurturing and competitive in a healthy way.
It is understandable when a family is at the skatepark and one child skates while the other rides a scooter. They shouldn't be bothered. They're a family on an outing. Understood. However, scooters and bicycles are not allowed in the park. On any given day, after school or on the weekends you will find 10 or more scooters and bicycles at the park. Scooters and the pegs on the bicycles chunk up the cement and the coping, contributing to the deterioration of the park. They do not even try to pay attention to the flow of the park and often get in the way which leads to more injuries (usually a skateboarder trying to avoid a collision). The scooters and the bicycles are not cited. They are not banned from the park and they cause a lot of damage.
The trash and vandalism is due to unsupervised kids who are not skateboarding. They are sliding down transitions while people are skating, they've waxed areas that caused serious injury to skaters, they are breaking glass & pouring soda everywhere, leaving their trash behind, lighting helmets on fire and much more. Usually these children are on scooters or bicycles. They are not cited. They are not banned from the park. Why?
We try to self-police the park, mind the un-attended children and keep it clean but instead of recognition, the park is now closed and skaters are back on the streets again. What was the point of having a skatepark built?
To the City of Fort Bragg, please:
Re-open the skatepark so that travellers, skateboarders and their families can enjoy it. Re-assess policies and procedures so that the focus of law enforcement is on those who are up to no good and/or have no business being there in the first place. Re-new your perspective of the skatepark and its users by allowing the skateboarding community be a part of the process that affects us directly.
Fort Bragg Skate Park is still a work in progress and the community looks forward to new additions like a water fountain and a bathroom someday (repairs, rain cover, lights, etc.). It is not a project that is done and forgotten. It is an asset to the community and to the area's tourism-based economy. Please re-consider the decision to close the Fort Bragg Skate Park indefinitely.
Today: Fort Bragg Skate Park Project / Fort Bragg California Skatepark Coalition is counting on you
Fort Bragg Skate Park Project / Fort Bragg California Skatepark Coalition needs your help with “City of Fort Bragg, CA: Re-Open the Fort Bragg Skate Park/Re-Assess Current Policies and Procedures”. Join Fort Bragg Skate Park Project / Fort Bragg California Skatepark Coalition and 115 supporters today.