Armed with 120 signatures on a petition, photographs, and financial details, three Sylvania boys proposed to city officials earlier this week that the city invest in a skate park.
Nick Hosinski, 14, and Ben Miller, 14, told city council s parks and forestry committee about skate parks in area communities, including Oregon, Maumee, Toledo, Port Clinton, Delta, and Bedford Township.
Young Miller, whose 11-year-old brother Sam is involved in the skate park effort, said that city police seem to be cracking down on skateboarders who are getting kicked off private property, such as behind a downtown business.
We don t have any place in Sylvania where we can go, Ben said.
A police officer, he said, suggested that skateboarders consider a petition drive to garner support for the city to build a skate park.
We asked our parents about it, and they said to go to the city building. We went there and got a sample of a petition, Ben said.
The petition, circulated beginning in March and signed by registered voters, reads building a skatepark is a positive way to keep kids out of trouble and a good way to stay physically active. Many local businesses have become aggravated because skateboarders are damaging their property. This petition is designed to keep skateboarders off of company property, and in our own designated area away from public traffic.
The boys, who estimated that it could cost $60,000 for a skate park, would like to see a skate facility built at Veterans Memorial Field.
Council members questioned whether a skate park might be a project that the Sylvania Area Joint Recreation District could consider. Councilman John Borell, Jr., who sits on the district board, said he will take the boys proposal to the board s next meeting. Meantime, the proposal will be given to City Forester Art Landseadel to review.
If Sylvania would build a skate park, it would be a win-win situation. The businesses would appreciate it, and we would appreciate it because it would keep the kids off the street, said Ben Sam Miller, 11, from left, his brother Ben Miller, 14, and Nick Hosinski, 14, hope to have a skate park and Sam s mother, Nancy Miller.
She predicted that skateboarders would take pride in a skate park. I think they will police it and each other s behavior, she said.
These are good kids.
Jean Hosinksi said that many skateboard enthusiasts, and their parents, are frustrated by the lack of a skate park in Sylvania.
If the city rejects the idea, then the boys will pick up the pace for petition signatures, hitting other subdivisions to gather more names, she said.
We would spread out on the petition route. We would go to businesses to ask them about money to support it.