Skatepark Update from Shanda Hope
My husband and I had the idea of having a skate park built here in Olney after visiting the Mineral Wells Skate Park. It was so awesome to watch all the kids of different ages and talents out there. Their skate park is in their city park included in everything. We could see kids skateboarding, a birthday party going on at their picnic tables, and children playing at the playground. We want that for OUR park! I can imagine kids getting hot skateboarding in the summer and going over to the city pool to swim. With the recent upgrades to our city park, I can see families with different aged children coming to the park and having something to do for the whole family.
It’s more than just that for us though. Our boys love to skate. I would love for them to have a place to learn and grow. They can only do so much on our bumpy sidewalks and streets, and the parks have “No Skateboarding” signs posted.
My husband Dustin grew up in Olney and also used to skateboard as a teen and young adult. He and his friends could be found skating on the sidewalks on main street next to oncoming traffic or in church or school parking lots. This is a huge reason why there is a negative stigma around skateboarding! It is time to change that. They aren’t pests, outcasts, or outsiders. They are just men, women, boys, and girls that aren’t interested in typical ball sports that need a designated place for their hobby! Without such a place, it is hard to do so safely and within the tight rules the cities and towns confine them to. For this reason, many just don’t skate. I hate to see them not given that opportunity.
I am very passionate about this Skate Park. I originally started the Olney TX Skate Park Advocacy Facebook Page in 2016. However, due to a lack of knowledge, support and other projects going on at the park at the time, it stalled. New life came to the project this year when a group of parents came to me asking how we could get that going again. With their support, I am happy to say that things are off to a promising start. Our group plans to fund this project with donations and grants. We are very excited to announce that we have been awarded our first grant! Big thanks to the LF and Carla Perry Foundation for their generous donation. In addition to the grant, we have also received a generous donation from a private donor!
We still have a long road ahead of us and we are continuously looking for opportunities to raise funds and apply for grants, so if you or someone you know wants to be a part of this very special project for our youth, please reach out!
With the help of community members and local decision-makers, the group is ready to see this project to the finish! So excited to see what we can accomplish TOGETHER!