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Published: Thursday, 7/8/2004

Delta: 'Action park' in line for skaters, bikers

BY ERIKA RAY
BLADE STAFF WRITER

DELTA - Youths who have been reprimanded for skateboarding, in-line skating or biking in business parking lots soon may have a place built just for them.

Construction of an "action park" within Delta Park, spearheaded by the Delta Rotary Club, is expected to be under way after the Chicken Festival ends July 11, said Cliff Shelt, secretary and treasurer for the eight-member Rotary Club.

"The kids want a place to do it, and businesses don't want the kids skating in their parking lots," Mr. Shelt said. "When the police run them off, the kids say, 'Where do you suggest that we go?' The police don't have any suggestions."

Rotary Club members are planning to pour concrete on an area measuring 9,900-square feet north of the tennis courts in the park, which is across from Delta Middle School on the northwest corner of Taylor and Fernwood streets, according to Rotary Club president Kris Edwards.

He said the action park, which will be covered by the park's insurance, should be complete by 2005 with about 34 ramps and guard rails.

"I think it's really a necessity now for the number of kids we have wandering the streets," Mr. Edwards said. "We don't have any place for skateboards, Rollerblades, or even bicycles, except on the streets."

Mr. Edwards, who also serves on the Delta Park Board, said he gave the board detailed information about the Rotary Club's plans for the park. After the board approved the plans, Rotary Club set out to raise funds for the project.

"The initial thought was we didn't want to get digging into this project and realize we were short," Mr. Edwards said. "That was the first step - finding a place for it. Then we went ahead with avenues for raising money."

Rotary Club has raised half of the estimated $75,000 needed to complete the project, mainly through auctions in the last five to six years, Mr. Shelt said.

Rotary Club members are looking for community members to volunteer services and to raise and donate the remaining funds needed to complete the project, Mr. Shelt said.

"We're going to get the concrete pad for it and go from there," he said. "It's going to take a lot of community support to get the project done after we get started."

Mr. Edwards said he hopes community members will get

involved so that they can take pride in helping to create the action park.

"I think that it'll be highly used," Mr. Edwards said.

"We're just going to try to make it into something for the community to enjoy. If we have to do it in sections, we'll do it in sections. But we'll get her done," Mr. Edwards added."

Contact Erika Ray at:

eray@theblade.com

or 419-724-6050.



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