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Building Community Just Made To Enjoy

Play is children’s work. Play teaches them how to order the world in a way that makes sense - a necessary skill for maturity.

Teens who skateboard might scare adults a bit. All those high jumps, that incredible speed, the skaters’ attitudes. But teens who skateboard are exercising and honing skills of competition and coordination.

A community that recognizes the child’s need to play and the teen’s need for a healthy outlet is a progressive community. Recently, we’ve seen two outstanding examples of people working together to meet the needs of younger community members.

The Hillyard Steering Committee bought two sorry lots filled with weeds and trash. The group used $25,000 worth of federal community development grants to buy the property and by spring, a so-called pocket park should be in place at the corner of Longfellow Avenue and Florida street. The Spokane Parks Department has a design plan and teen volunteers will participate in the building of the park.

Meanwhile in downtown Spokane, a skateboard park was dedicated Friday. A space under I-90 between Third and Fourth avenues features a $24,000 concrete pyramid for skating tricks.

The park came about because of collaboration between teens and adults. In 1996, Shadle Park High School student Bryce Neusse proposed the idea to the City Council. Teens then wrote and distributed a survey to see how much interest there was in a skating park, and the parks department met with teens for their input.

Small in size, both parks are big in community hard work and vision. All involved deserve congratulations for a job well done.

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