Saturday, Jun 25, 2016
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23-year old needs supporters for skate park

If Perrysburg is going to get a skate park its supporters are going to have to start making a case to city officials.

John Hawley, a 23-year-old Perrysburg skater, stepped up last fall with his dream of seeing a skate park in his hometown. Mr. Hawley pitched city leaders on a park that would give skaters a place to legally skate in the town. City officials have listened to him, but said more supporters need to come forward.

“I want to see more faces,” City Councilman Rick Rettig said.

The city of Perrysburg‘‍s 2014 budget set aside $20,000 for the park’‍s design and development, but a lack of supporters has left the project halted. 

At the First Friday in downtown Perrysburg event Aug. 1 Mr. Hawley will have a booth set up selling $10 T-shirts and giving out Perrysburg Skate Park bracelets. He’‍s hoping to show the city more local skaters who want a park, and generate some interest among other people. 

Mr. Hawley said attracting more supporters to the cause has been a slow process, but he appreciate‘‍s the city’‍s support.

”To invest in it they need to know the citizens want it and physically see public support,” he said.

Skate-park advocates have been great at offering verbal support, signing petitions and liking a facebook page dedicated to the cause, Mr. Hawley said. They‘‍re less helpful when Mr. Hawley asks skaters to go to council meetings, help with the First Friday booth or contribute to other awareness campaigns, he said. 

That isn‘‍t stopping Mr. Hawley though. He’‍s hoping to raise about $600 from T-shirt sales and he hopes to create a non-profit called Perrysburg Skate Park to raise money for the park. 

Perrysburg Public Service Director Jon Eckel has been working with Mr. Hawley and while nothing is finalized they have looked at the city‘‍s land behind the YMCA on Eckel Junction Road as a possible skate park site. 

Contact Matt Thompson at: mthompson@theblade.com, 419-356-8786, or on Twitter at @mthompson25.

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