Friday, April 22, 2016

Insight - Skatepark closed - By Michelle Libby

I was sad, as were quite a few young folks, to hear that the Windham Skatepark was closed indefinitely. Over the years I have watched the transformation of the park and it’s evolution from a place where everyone was welcome. The place was properly maintained. Now it is the ultimate failure. 

When I was young, my parents read a book called “Miss Suzy” to me. They still sell the book on Amazon and I always think of it when I think of the statepark.

For a while the park was thriving when there was someone on staff watching over things every afternoon and evening. Parents weren’t afraid to drop their children off or have their kids walk there from school. The equipment, ramps, jumps and the like were in good shape and those skateboarders and rollerbladers who used it helped keep everything in working order. Bikes were not allowed on the park. 

Once the town decided not to fund the supervision, the park turned from a skateboarders paradise to a bike park. I don’t know that the kids on the bikes held the same reverence in the use of the park. Skaters stopped going there. 

In my story, “Miss Suzy is a little gray squirrel who lives happily in her oak-tree home…” One day she is chased away by mean red squirrels. 

The squirrels in the story breakup her beautiful home.

Miss Suzy finds brave toy soldiers and they help her defeat the red squirrels and take back her home.
Right now no one is winning at the skatepark. 

It’s too bad that something that should be a boon for the town has been destroyed. Being so close to the public safety building was also a good thing, keeping most of the kids on the straight and narrow. 

I don’t pretend to know what the town was thinking at any stage of the skatepark’s life, but I’m hoping they can restore it to its former glory for many more generations of skaters to enjoy.

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