Jon Casson: No more ball fields
When the Steamboat Springs Parks and Recreation Commission meets today to review the Bear River parcel master plan the commission vote to commit resources toward a new concrete skateboard park on the site.
The commission should not vote to devote more space to ball fields for Triple Crown.
We are lucky to live in a small town where members of the community are invited to take part in the planning process for the use of their public lands. It was evident at all of the Bear River planning meetings that Triple Crown fields were not wanted at this site.
If the city asks for our input, and we give it in no uncertain terms, and the city then decides to override that input, it will deteriorate the trust that the public places in our elected officials. The community made it abundantly clear they do not want fields at the Bear River site, and the city should respect that opinion.
In regard to the stance taken by the newspaper, it is very disappointing to read that the editors openly advocate that the city ignore the opinions of the community. If there were people in this community who wanted ball fields for Triple Crown at the Bear River site, they were more than welcome to attend the planning sessions and voice that opinion.
In regard to the issue of a skateboard park at the Bear River site, I feel that the Parks and Recreation Commission should fully support this use. Yes, we do have a skate park, but it is small, under funded, overused and in poor repair. Many communities across the country and in nearby towns have constructed large concrete skate parks for youths. They have been enormously successful in providing a place for kids to hang out, socialize and pursue their chosen sport.
Skateboarding is a healthy sport that challenges kids to push the limits of their athletic abilities. Skateboarding provides an outlet for the energy and creativity for dozens of kids in our town. There are many kids (and adults) in this community who would really enjoy a well-built, concrete skateboard facility. Several campaigns have been organized over the years to build a new skate park. We now have an excellent opportunity to finally get one built.
The Bear River site is an ideal location for a new skate park. Once again, the residents who attended the planning meetings were supportive of such a project. I hope that the city will respect the wishes of its residents. I hope that the city decides to spend the money for an athletic facility that benefits the children in our community.
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