Skateboard Park A Worthy Project

TUESDAY, JULY 25, 1995

Coeur d’Alene’s can-do volunteerism has brought the community some major amenities in the past decade - a City Park band shell, a senior center, a cancer center and a new city library. Lake City residents have given time, materials and money to make a great place better.

But one project has fallen through the cracks: Coeur d’Alene Skate Park.

After six years of planning and fund raising, the park remains only 30 percent finished - with money available to complete only another 30 percent by summer’s end.

The project needs a boost.

The Spokesman-Review has pledged $5,000 to the project from impact fees improperly collected by the city for the newspaper’s new Coeur d’Alene offices. Now, we’re challenging other businesses, particularly those downtown, to help finish the skate park by donating fee refunds, cash, materials or services.

Contributions can be made by contacting city Recreation Director Steve Anthony or skate park organizer Nancy Heffter. About $20,000 more is needed.

Eve Knudtsen explained why Coeur d’Alene businesses should join the effort, after Knudtsen Chevrolet had made a sizable donation this spring: “We need this in Coeur d’Alene. We don’t have a community center, and the YMCA has shut down. In the meantime, this is a place where they (youths) can go.”

Other major contributors include Hagadone Hospitality, architect Gordon Longwell, landscaper Tom Freeman, engineers Welch Comer & Associates, Interstate Concrete & Asphalt and Great Northern Equipment.

Skateboarders and in-line roller bladers have been chased off Coeur d’Alene and Spokane city streets and sidewalks and out of parks. Some merchants view skaters simply as nuisances who intimidate shoppers and destroy park benches and tables, curbs and smooth concrete surfaces while performing their assorted tricks.

Although unorthodox, skateboarders are athletes, too - like their basketball, softball, baseball, tennis and soccer counterparts who have been provided courts and fields throughout town. Skateboarders deserve a place of their own to perform their agile ollies, kick flips, nose slides, fakies and half pipes.

Plans for Coeur d’Alene Skate Park also include a regulation in-line roller rink to address the needs of older skaters and the growing roller-blade hockey craze.

The city kick-started this project by donating $5,000 and land. The kids have done the best they can by raising money through benefits and carwashes and by asking for donations door-to-door.

Now, it’s up to the rest of us to complete the project.

, DataTimes The following fields overflowed: CREDIT = D.F. Oliveria/For the editorial board

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