September 24, 2013 |

Rotary Club reopens talk of skate park

An early goal of the Rotary Club of Lake Stevens was to raise funds for a skateboard park in Lake Stevens. Prior to the start of the recession, the club conducted some fundraising to build a skateboard park. The effort brought in $2,500 in the initial fundraising request, which remains available.

The earlier fundraiser included some youth from the community as well as participation from the Lake Stevens Police Department. At that time there were no partnerships with other service clubs or organizations. Another major obstacle was suitable land, which was not available at that time.

Throughout the country a formula has been used to successfully gauge the number of skaters in a community and the corresponding size of a skateboarding facility. Using this formula with July 2012 population estimates obtained from the 2010 U.S. Census, over 1,300 youth would be served by such a facility in the Lake Stevens community.

Now the club is reinvigorating its efforts to build a park with an appeal to help raise funds to build the park. But broad community support from service clubs, the local organizations and individuals is needed to make a dream for youth come true in Lake Stevens.

Unlike the previous effort, the club has $5,000 in this budget and will continue to do so with the same amount for three years, which includes this year. The City of Lake Stevens has land including park space that it didn’t have during the previous fundraising campaign.

The campaign to raise funds for the skateboard park will mirror other past activities such as the effort to build a Boys and Girls Club gymnasium through the collective work with other service clubs, community organizations, businesses and the youth including skateboarders.

Lake Stevens has risen to the occasion in the past with the Senior Center on Soper Hill Road.

There are a number of reasons to build a skateboard park. The skate park will provide a safe place to recreate. Plus, if the skate park is designed and constructed correctly, they are fiscally conservative and require very little maintenance. And skateboarders are currently under-served in the area.

Skateboarding has millions of participants nationally and is growing while team sports participation is sometimes declining. Skateboarding is a $2.5 billion industry and is becoming a vital part of urban communities. Communities around Lake Stevens understand the value of skate parks.

The Rotary Club of Lake Stevens has a new tool in the form of social media that it will use to reach out to those interested in supporting the effort and keeping them engaged throughout the process.

A Facebook page has been created as well as a Twitter feed (@skatelkstevens).

Join the campaign and make dreams come true. An effort like this “takes a village” so get involved in helping bring this to a successful conclusion.

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