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Wakefield planners consider possible skateboard park


November 14, 2019

P.J. Glisson/Daily Globe

PROPOSING A skateboard park at the Tuesday evening meeting of the Wakefield Planning Commission is Chris Tweiten, standing, who teaches social studies at the Wakefield-Marenisco K-12 School. Listening, from left, are Robert Lane, James Anderson, Chair Karen Manson, Mayor Dale White (behind Manson), Vice-Chair Tara Hamilton and City Clerk Sue Ahonen.


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WAKEFIELD- Members of the Wakefield Planning Commission contemplated a potential skateboard area near Eddy Park at their Tuesday evening meeting.

The discussion followed a presentation by Christopher Tweiten, a social studies teacher at the Wakefield-Marenisco K-12 School.

"Not all kids participate in team sports," said Tweiten, who said he believes that, just as organized sports are a "positive" element of any community, so too can activities such as skateboarding promote perseverance and build character.

Moreover, "It's fun for them," he added.

"Skate parks have been building in popularity in the past 20 years nationwide," said Tweiten, who said Bessemer and Ironwood already have them.

He showed pictures of various skateboard concepts, which include their own lingo such as "half pipe" units and other "features" such as down ramps, fun boxes, and manual pads.

According to Tweiten, separate areas with safety cushions also can include dirt jumps.

He said such parks are designed to allow users to learn skills gradually, with many kids opting to start with scooters before graduating to skateboards.

In relation to liability, Tweiten also assured that most skateboard parks post signs advising users to "skate at your own risk" and to use appropriate safety gear.

Tweiten said he has several students willing to participate in related fundraisers and claimed that Wakefield's VFW Post 9084 already has volunteered to sponsor such an event.

He believes $2,000 to $3,000 would be enough to create a viable park, which he said he'd love to see in place by next summer.

Planning Commission Chair Karen Manson asked Tweiten to return to the commission's December meeting with a progress report in relation to fundraisers and support from students.

"I want to see the kids work for what they have so they value it more," she said.

Manson also cautioned that the City Council will make the final decision on any prospective park.

In other news, the commission also voted to support Ordinance No. 231 regarding regulation of street address numbers.

The planning commission also voted to schedule monthly working sessions to work toward a pending master plan and recreation plan.

The first work sessions will be on Nov. 19 and Dec. 17 at 5:30 p.m.

The commission's next regular meeting will be on Dec. 10 at 5:30 p.m.

All sessions will be in the council room of the municipal building, and the public is welcome.


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