Parents urged to care for Pa. skate park

February 06, 2012|By JENNIFER FITCH |

WAYNESBORO, Pa. — Responsible users of a skate park in Washington Township, Pa., were urged Monday to form an organization to address upkeep and access.

The Washington Township Supervisors suggested skateboarders and their parents form a group whose designated members could open and close the Dunlap Family Skatepark at Pine Hill Regional Recreation Area depending on weather. The members also would be asked to alert police to vandalism and other undesirable behavior.

“We certainly like the park being used,” said Jeff Geesaman, chairman of the supervisors.

The supervisors recently decided to close the skate park, which is off Mentzer Gap Road, until March 15 for several reasons.

Geesaman said a major reason for its gate being continuously locked is the wear and tear on concrete during winter. He said snow squalls, freezing and thawing affect moisture under the skate park’s surface, leading to cracking and damage.

If someone used shovels or products like rock salt to clear the obstacles, those could also damage the concrete, Geesaman said.

“That’s why the decision was made to close the park, to protect the investment,” he said.

Township staff have limited availability to lock and unlock the gate on weekends.

Additionally, the park was recently vandalized with obscene images formed from wax spread on the concrete.

Waynesboro resident Amy Yokum, the mother of a 10-year-old skateboarder, asked the supervisors to reconsider closing the park until March 15. She said unseasonably warm temperatures like those experienced Monday would provide opportunities for outdoor recreation.

Yokum suggested a trusted individual could be responsible for signing out a key to open the gate on fair-weather days.

Township Manager Mike Christopher asked Yokum whether a parents’ group could be formed, to which she said she thought it was possible due to camaraderie among users of the park.

“I personally would like to see people up there because it’s less likely to be vandalized” when watched, Supervisor William Conrad said.

If people notice misuse of facilities, they need to notify the police, Supervisor Dick McCracken said.

Self-policing took care of past problems with skateboarders not wearing helmets as required, Supervisor Stephen Kulla said.

The supervisors asked Yokum and others concerned about the issue to return for a future meeting.

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