Wheels of all sorts, but mostly skateboard wheels, took over Miner Street in Idaho Springs on June 21.
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Organized by the Clear Creek Metropolitan Recreation District, the event was dubbed a “Street Takeover,” in which everyone skated from the recreation center to Citizen’s Park, where skate contests, music, art and prizes were waiting for participants.
According to Cameron Marlin, general manager at the CCMRD, the event was also meant to support a proposed skatepark in the town.
Members from the community created the “Skate Board” last September, all with the goal of making a skatepark in Idaho Springs happen. Students from 11 to 15 years old comprise a third of the board, which has about 40 members, including representatives from the CCMRD, the Mountain Youth Network and Positive Youth Development.
The Skate Board, including some of the kids at the day’s event, has presented to the Clear Creek school board about using land next to Building 103 — soon to be refurbished as another elementary school — for the skatepark last fall. But, Marlin said as plans for Building 103 developed further, less and less space is available for the skatepark, as well as the school board raising some safety concerns with it possibly being so close to an elementary school.
“It’s really important that people see who uses a skatepark,” said Cris Slaymaker, a member of the Skate Board, 30-year rollerskater, and retired roller derby competitor. She continued that there used to be a skatepark in Idaho Springs, but it was “sketchy” from falling apart, and known in the local older skate community to be one of the worst.
Joey Lupinacci, 14, who only started skating a few months ago, said he participated in the event because he enjoys skating and “everyone else who skates is really nice.”
“It’s great that they’re trying to help the skate community,” Lupinacci continued, elaborating that the nearest skatepark now is all the way in Golden.
According to Marlin, another option is redeveloping Shelly/Quinn Fields in the eastern part of the town. Addressing the Idaho Springs City Council on June 13 in a public comment, Marlin said that “teens need to feel welcome in their own town,” elaborating that predecessors to the current City Council have shown support, but no action had been taken.
Many people from the community spoke in support of the skatepark in that public comment, including the Superintendent of the Clear Creek School District, Karen Quanbeck, who was holding a skateboard. At the City Council’s work session the day before the event, the council approved moving forward with a conceptual design for the field area, a huge step forward, according to Marlin.
The next step is fundraising, aiming for a 20,000 square foot park, which will cost around $1 million, she continued. One City Council member elaborated that he thought maintaining the skatepark would be cheaper than maintaining the second baseball field, though.
The event itself had a large turnout, and Marlin said she was incredibly happy with it.
The contests consisted of the best trick, hippie jump, high fly, long jump and longest manual. There was also live music by Selekta Razja and art by Chris Neltner.
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