One of the things they've been working on – in addition to ensuring safe sidewalks, clean neighborhoods, and good rental programs – is a skate plaza attached to Huntington Park.
It's quite a project they're proposing. I went over to the site with a couple of members after our meeting, and saw that some neighborhood kids had built a BMX course through the woods; those trails would circle the skate plaza.
The plan is for a multi-use plaza: there would be picnic tables, and the way the land is sloped, it could be used as an amphitheater, as well.
If you're questioning the need for a skate plaza, talk to shop owners who keep chasing skaters away; ask the county, who gated up the Everson Museum plaza so skaters would stop using it; ask the folks who have put up signs at the Village Mall in Liverpool that say "Final Warning: No Skateboarding or Rollerblading."
Why can't they just use the skate park at Onondaga Lake Park? A few reasons:
• It's too small for large groups, or for mixed groups of bikers and skaters • It's not in their neighborhood; they need rides to get there • You pay for 90-minute sessions, and have to rotate between skaters and bikers
Seriously, who wouldn't want something else to do for teenagers?
The National Guard, the ENA members told me, have been doing some mobile skate parks. This makes sense, as one of the members pointed out, because skateboarders are fit and athletic, they're very aware of what's around them, and they're disciplined enough to work at the same tricks over and over.
I'm going to start mocking up a Web site for them. It'll be a volunteer deal, and I'm going to do a combination of static design and using Blogger as a content management tool, much like I do for this site and a few others that I run.
I'll keep you posted; I'm excited about this project.
The best man from the wedding this weekend (the groom's older brother) is a military contractor working in the Middle East (mostly Iraq, but he travels throughout). He handed out some dinars as souvenirs.