Joplin residents share opinions about possible new skateboard pa - KOAM TV 7

Joplin residents share opinions about possible new skateboard park

Current skateboard park Current skateboard park
Proposed new skateboard park drawing Proposed new skateboard park drawing
Proposed new skateboard park drawing Proposed new skateboard park drawing
Skateboarders might have a new, improved venue to cut loose and freestyle.  There are preliminary talks right now to build a new skateboard park in Joplin.  There's already concerns, but also strong support for the idea.

Kimberly Moss rolls her support towards a new skateboard park, replacing the one already in Schifferdecker Park.

"It's very small.  More kids probably play here (Schifferdecker skateboard park) than actually skate here," says Moss.

"You want the kids to be entertained.  But you always want more than one person at a time to be able to use it.  And right now, with the existing ramp that we have, it's pretty much a one person show," says Joplin Parks and Recreation Director Chris Cotton.

Skateboarding was one prioritized recreation by Joplin residents in a 2011 survey.

"Going through high school, almost every single person I knew skated, or were friends with someone who skated, or just would hang out with the people who skated," says Moss.

Plans for the possible new skateboard park include more ramps, more dips, and more "cool" factors, according to some skateboarders.

"The biggest thing that I would be worried about it making sure that  the skate park has lights.  There is, quite a bit of time of the year in Joplin, when it gets dark at 5 o'clock in the evening," says Tom Walters, who supports building a new skateboard park.

"I can't run because I have metal in my back.  So whenever I skateboard, I don't have to deal with the metal hitting each other.  It's just the solid, smooth, straight-forward push," says Moss.

Joplin's parks and recreation director will place aside $240,000 for the project in next year's budget.  But the budget needs to be approved by city council.  The parks director says the city's insurance would cover possible accidents in the proposed park.

"If the kids don't have a place to skate, then we have issues with them skating on private property and doing damage to private businesses and owners' properties," says Cotton.

The proposed skateboard park may be built at Ewert Park.  

But some residents have concerns.  One of those concerns centers around what's not seen at Schifferdecker Park.

"I don't see a whole lot of BMX or skateboarding going on at that one," says Joplin resident Andrew Maier.

Residents also say, though, that you never know.  Something bigger may really push things forward.

No decision has been made yet on where the possible new skateboard park would be built.  Again, this is all pending city council's approval for next year's budget.

To learn how popular skateboarding is nationwide, click here.

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