Skate committee ramps up support

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Skaters unite.

The recently formed Skate Park Revival Committee held its first meeting Monday at the Hood River Aquatic Center in an effort to garner funds to upgrade the park at 20th and Wasco streets.

"We didn't have as big a turnout as we had hoped, but we accomÿplished a lot," committee chair Julie Tucker said. "We now know what the kids want, and have a pretty good idea of where we're headed."

Tucker helped organize subcomÿmittees that will speak with profesÿsional contractors and engineers about the committee's plan to reÿfurbish the slowly decaying facility.

Once the committee knows how much the proposed plan will cost, it will present the plan to the Parks and Recreation board of directors for approval.

"The goal is to get Parks and Rec more involved financially," Tucker said. "We've had some problems with disemmination of funds in the past and want to make sure money donated to the skate park actually goes toward the skate park."

The Skate Park Revival Commitÿtee is comprised mostly of skateÿboarders and their parents, who believe the park holds much more value in the community than it receives credit for.

Tucker's six year-old son, Isiah, uses the park every day -- along with local kids of all ages -- and she believes the current facilities are potentially very dangerous.

"I've seen kids almost lose a finger on the ramps there," she said. "The way it is now, some of the kids need supervision."

Tucker's goal is for the park to be upgraded so it is on par with safer, more modern concrete parks in Newberg, Redmond, Sandy and elsewhere.

Newberg's 29,000 square-foot skate park, designed by Dreamland Skateparks, has set the bar for parks around the state, and local skaters are seeking some of the same amenities such as all-concrete conÿstruction, an even flow pattern and more variety.

That's why Tucker has gotten the kids so invloved.

"We want the kids to have a sense of ownership over this proÿject," she said.

"They get to be involved in something meaningful in the comÿmunity and tell the contractors what they want, not what someone else thinks is suitable. This is really about what the skaters want."

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