December 10, 2013

Bigger skate park a positive

Bigger does not necessarily mean better. But in the case of Dalton’s skate park, it does.

Three years ago, a teenage skater went before the Dalton City Council and proposed a skateboard park. In less than a year, one was built.

On the corner of Morningside Drive and Avenue C, the 5,000-square-foot skating area at James Brown Park has been well worth the effort, judging by its popularity.

Dalton Parks and Recreation Department officials say the park is well attended, at times often crowded as skaters wait in line for their turn.

Recently a group of about two dozen skaters, plus some interested adults, met at the rec center to discuss how and why the park should be expanded.

The top reason is demand. The park is often crowded with teens, young adults and children waiting for their turn. Apparently skaters obey a set of their own rules and etiquette for this, as there have been no reports of unruliness from gatherings at the park.

It was suggested that a separate area be included for the youngest of skaters, with older ones offering their services as instructors at set times.

This park is open all year. It gives skateboarders a place to socialize and exercise, no matter the temperature. The park helps get kids off the streets, not only out of traffic, but also into a safe environment where they can focus their energy outside of school.

According to the Houston Chronicle, a 2006 study published in Pediatrics found that skateboarders are less likely to smoke cigarettes or skip class.

And during a time of dangerously high childhood obesity rates, and the economic burden that comes from that, encouraging outdoor activity is a worthy investment.

Skate parks also have an economic impact in a way that other parks do not. Providing a dedicated location for skating creates a market for the small businesses that cater to the skating community, from skateboard shops to instructional jobs.

More land for a bigger park is not a problem, there is room on both the north and south ends of the area to expand.

Money, as always, is the major issue. It cost $100,000 to build the current park, it will take that and probably more to expand.

That is something the rec department commission can look into more this week when Steve Card, rec department director, who is in favor of a bigger park, addresses the commission. Card said last week the issue will be brought up again after the first of the year.

An expanded skate park would be a bonus not only for the rec center and skaters but also for a city looking to be progressive in promoting parks and outdoor activities.

The amount of use the skate park gets and the lack of major problems there make it easier to argue for a bigger and better park.

Text Only
  • We must do better

    The numbers tell a sad tale.
    Registered voters: 36,843.
    Cards cast: 5,307.
    That means the turnout for Tuesday’s runoffs in Whitfield County was a measly 14.4 percent, according to unofficial results from the Whitfield County elections office.

    July 23, 2014

  • Letter: Control immigration

    Thousands are starting to pour into our country, and things are getting personal. Why would we end up the bad guys if we turn away children who aren’t ours? How does it make us better people to let one man steal from our children and stand by and do nothing?

    July 23, 2014

  • Helping with Book Blast betters the community

    The school test results are in, and students in Whitfield and Murray counties mostly improved from a year ago, mirroring or exceeding average scores of their peers.

    July 23, 2014

  • Mark Millican: Guns are already everywhere

    Though it happened over 30 years ago, the image is still vivid.

    July 22, 2014

  • Charles Oliver: Former officer works overtime improperly

    Stephen F. Hall has pleaded guilty to theft by deception and falsifying a government record.

    July 22, 2014

  • Dalton council should seek answers

    Judicial elections in this area are usually pretty staid. In fact, they are generally nonexistent, since most judges run unopposed.

    July 21, 2014

  • Letter: Something to think about

    It has been better than four months now since Malaysia Flight 370 went missing. During that time we have heard all kinds of speculation, conjecture and opinions as to what happened to it. The only certainties to emerge are that the Malaysians fumbled the ball early on and there are some understandably distressed loved ones left to deal with their losses.

    July 21, 2014

  • Don’t forget the runoff

    Most folks are either getting ready for or still recovering from their summer vacations. So it’s easy to forget that Tuesday is an election day. A runoff election day to be precise.

    July 20, 2014

  • Be excited about a new grocery store, but stay loyal to the Green Spot

    The Daily Citizen reported on the front page of the July 15 newspaper that Dalton could get a new grocery store.

    July 19, 2014

  • John O. Schwenn: Making college completion easier

    There are, within the state of Georgia, an estimated 1.1 million adults who started a college degree program and never finished.

    July 19, 2014