It’s good to see Rockford considering building a skate park for the kids. Not every child wants to play football and baseball, and considering the amount of taxes Rockford residents pay for the football program and other sports programs at Rockford High School it seems like a more than worthwhile investment. More of the teenagers in our community would use this facility than will ever be allowed to play on the “organized sports” teams once they hit high school.
If it is true that Rockford has never been in the “recreation business” why is it we have so many city parks? I live behind Rotary Park, and there is a full basketball court, that is completely “unsupervised” and “unorganized” and yes a lot of foul language sometimes comes from it, and noise, and I don’t hear anybody in my neighborhood, (or Mr. Blakslee for that matter) urging the public to not allow basketball courts in Rockford any longer.
Another point I think needs to be made is that the majority of those who skate board will not be playing “rocket football” because they are generally jr. high school to high school age. Furthermore this letter really shows a lot of prejudice regarding what are permissible, and beneficial activities in Rockford. We benefit greatly by the recreation that is present in this area.
Those that use the river for kayaking, and canoeing contribute to our economy, as well as those who use the White Pine Trail. Having first class mountain biking trails (Merrill Trail, and Luton Park) brings many to our shops and restaurants who would otherwise never come here. Recreation is something we have going for us. Much of it we luckily don’t have to pay for directly because it is sponsored by other townships,the state or the county. I certainly would not consider these things outside the public good.
If allowed a skate park would be used by the skaters, and bmx kids currently riding downtown, and I’m sure it would see a lot of use. I would suggest putting it in Rotary Park (being in my back yard) and I think most of the residents that border it would welcome a venue for these kids. If they get out of control like they sometimes do at the basketball court we can just ask them to quite it down. I am sure they will show as much respect as the majority of the basketball players flying the F bomb every six seconds behind my house (they generally are respectful after you ask). In my experience skateboarders aren’t fundamentally different than any other kids, and I don’t see why we shouldn’t support a healthy activity so many Rockford kids are involved in.
Rockford is a great place to live because of the diversity of recreational activities, and I hope as a community we will not be so hopelessly out of touch that we don’t see what people are really looking for in a great community. When I say I live in Rockford the positive comments I get from people are the fantastic opportunities for recreation in this community, and what a great place it is for kids. I am optimistic that the current City Council gets this.