Petition for community skatepark

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This petition is to show support and to prove that there is a genuine local need for a skatepark in Clinton, New Jersey. Why is it illegal to skateboard in my town? My friends and I are often stereotyped as skateboarders, sometimes by the police in our hometown. We feel that it is unfair that others who play basketball, football, baseball, tennis, etc. get to practice their sports locally everyday. We as skateboarders also try to do this but we have to drive 30 minutes or more to the closest skatepark depending on where you live in the area. We have been informed about the ticket we can get and are told to get off the streets and even the sidewalks by some cops in our town. 

The new skatepark will be a free-to-use, safe, inclusive and a family orientated sports facility for users of all ages. It will also be a place to make new friends and learn a new hobby. Vandalism will be prohibited and most important: drug use will not be tolerated. Having a skatepark in our town will prevent skateboarders from partaking in the activity on private property. Since there is no skatepark in our town we are forced to go out of our way to find places to skate. Studies have shown that some of the worst skateboarding injuries have to do with being hit by a car, if we have a skatepark in our town it will bring kids to a safe location to do what they love. The bundt skatepark (old skatepark in Clinton township) regulations stated that if vandalism occurred they would temporarily shut down the skatepark and fine whoever did it, but instead the town auctioned off all of the ramps and banned skateboarding in our town. Instead of trying to figure out who did the vandalism and fine the person, the town let that one person create a poor name for the rest of the skateboarding community. 

Skateparks are proven to increase health, well-being, community cohesion whilst reducing social exclusion and anti-social behavior. Skateboarding is now the third most popular teen sport, behind football and basketball. Skateboarding is also a great way to get kids out from behind their gaming systems/phones and engaged in physical activity. As a skateboarder I would say landing a trick you have been dreaming of is the best feeling in the world and I want everyone to be able to experience that same feeling. Skateboarding teaches you life lessons that are important like perseverance, confidence and creativity. It will not only benefit skatepark users, it will also enhance the town and will be an asset to the whole community.

I have read plans the town had about building a skatepark in High Bridge at Union Forge park back in 2003 and wondered why they planned on building it but never stepped up to the plate when the time came. There are more than enough soccer fields, football fields and baseball fields in our town."Williams said that High Bridge like other municipalities - spends a lot of money on athletic fields." I don't understand why the town can't build something for the skateboarders, scooter riders, roller skaters and BMX bike riders, it seems to me like we are treated as bums instead of athletes. I don't see a problem with a skatepark in our town, as long as cops can come and check on the park to make sure nobody is doing anything illegal. Skateboarders tend to police themselves from what i've experienced.

Here are some important quotes to take into consideration (found on the New Jersey hills media group website)

- "It's important for the kids in the area. There are not a lot of opportunities for kids who are not in team sports. They can wind up getting in with the wrong crowd," Schulz said.

- "Some of these kids tend not to be joiners," Williams said. "They're more interested in creating their own challenges and meeting them."

- "While some skateboarders play baseball and other traditional sports as well, others are not involved in any organized activities. "Their needs are definitely not being met," Williams said.