NORFOLK, NE — It’s been two years and Miracle Skate Park in Norfolk still looks the same.
In June of 2015, members of the skating community went to city council pleading for changes. While the city did step in and make some repairs and continues to help maintain the park, it’s people like Anthony Thompson who are working the hardest.
“Luckily there is a group of us, we call ourselves the ‘New Skate Park for Norfolk Initiative’ and we try and take care of it. We sweep and look out for it and police the area as much as possible.”
For the last two years, Thompson has been doing fundraisers to raise money for the park. They need to raise $360,000 to get the park built. So far they have about $135,000 in the bank.
“I’d like it built today but if we have to wait two more years that’s what we will do.”
In budget hearings last week, Park Superintendent Pat Mrsny said the skate park group is struggling to raise funds for new equipment. Mrsny said in the meeting that elected officials need to make a decision regarding the future of the skate park.
The skate park equipment is old and outdated, Thompson won’t disagree there.
The park has been closed and reopened several times over the past ten years for various purposes including repairs and legal reasons. Despite that, Thompson is grateful for the help they’ve received from the city.
Jacob O’Brien, who has been coming to the skate park since he was 12, has put his fair share of work into the park. He says it’s worth it though and is glad the city is helping maintain it, for now.
“It’s important for me because I’ve been coming here for so long and seen little done. I’ve put in screws myself, I’ve had to pick things up and sweep and all that maintenance myself. When the city comes it feels like we are little more important than some hood rat kids causing trouble.”
There are some hurdles to jump, Thompson is still determined to bring the largest skate park to Norfolk.
Thompson says they will continue to raise funds and search for grants to keep the skate park a landmark in Norfolk.
Donations can be accepted online at goodlifeactionsports.org and for donations over $35 donors will receive a tax deductible receipt.
City Council Plans to Allocate Money For Skate Park: http://us92.com/local-news/city-of-norfolk-plans-to-allocate-money-for-new-skate-park/
Skate Park Makes Major Headway: http://us92.com/local-news/new-skatepark-for-norfolk-making-major-headway-meets-with-potential-designer/