By Maddy PUMILIA
Crescenta Valley teenagers gathered at St. Luke’s of the Mountains on Saturday to skate at a temporary skate park, hoping to raise awareness – and money – for a skate park at Crescenta Valley Park.
“Kids need something to do other than skating on private property,” said 16-year-old Cooper Iven, who organized the event. “Business owners are not happy. This is our solution.”
Iven said between 10 to 15 teenagers are working to organize the skate park. The group is working with Los Angeles County Parks and Recreation to get equipment and a location. They estimate that the skate park will cost about $30,000 and are working to pay for the park through private and business donations.
“It’s a great idea mostly because there’s not much for skaters to do. They get in trouble for skating on private property,” said 16-year-old skater Chance Vandergeugten.
Vandergeugten helped Cooper advertise the event by posting on Facebook and putting up flyers.
“I think it’ll give them somewhere to go,” said Susan Dubin of the Crescenta Valley Drug and Alcohol Prevention Coalition. “Teenaged boys love to skate. Teenaged girls love to watch and parents want somewhere safe [for them] to go. It’s something the community needs. It’s somewhere for kids to show off their skills and have fun. It’s a win-win.”
CVDAPC and the Crescenta Valley Prom Plus Club supported the event.
The kids sold water, chips, hot dogs and candy to help kickoff the fundraising. They also had an opportunity drawing with items that were donated by Prom Plus and 818 Skate Shop in Tujunga. The money collected will go toward building the skate park.
Other skate parks like the ones in Glendale and La Cañada have limited hours or do not have the equipment the kids want at their park or are too far away. Some teenagers have trouble getting rides from adults to and from the skate parks and their parents might not want them to skate the distance.
“The good skateboard parks are too far or it’s not the quality that skateboarders want,” Iven said.
“The good ones are too far. Like an hour,” agreed Andrew Dorosy, 14.
The skate park has the support of both The Fire House and Prom Plus. The Fire House has been opened for nine months and is a non-faith based youth center that offers peer tutoring, games like pool, foosball, and video games as well as information teens can use like how to apply for college. The Fire House is open on Tuesdays from 6 p.m to 9 p.m. Some of the center’s teens have joined a focus group to discuss the issues they deal with in Crescenta Valley from the normal school issues of too much homework to serious problems with drugs and bullying. It was out of one of these focus group meetings the skate park was first brought up as a possibility.
The La Crescenta area used to have a skate park called the Boogie Bowl. The Bowl was complete with a round cement bowl and a small downhill half-pipe. The skate park opened in the late 1970s. It closed in 1981 due to insurance problems.
Al Evans from parks and recreation stopped by Saturday’s skate event to talk to the teens about what they needed to do to get the park from start to completion. The kids listened to the rules and regulations and to what planning was required. When he finished they were not deterred but enthusiastic about the possibility.
The group has already begun getting signatures in support of a local park and has spoken to the Crescenta Valley Town Council. The councilmembers signed their petition.
Cheryl Davis, president of CVTC, was at the event as a volunteer and to lend some wooden jumps for the skaters to use.
“The skate park plan is awesome,” said Davis. “I’m looking forward to it.”
For information on the skate park, email firstname.lastname@example.org.