TONASKET – Local skaters in the Tonasket area said they like the new skate park, but see areas for improvement.
The park, dedicated to the memory of Jerry Allstot (1982-2002), was finished by June 30. A pillar at the park states that Allstot was a member, contributor and friend of the B3 Skate Park Project.
“The skate park is a lot nicer than what is was,” Mo Brown, 17, said. “I think it could be a little bigger, but it’s what they’ve got.”
Fifteen-year-old Taylor Pillow said he was glad to see the drinking fountain had been installed in the park and agreed with Brown that the park was better now that it was finished. Brown said the biggest thing the park is missing is shade while Michael Scott, 18, said the park needs a mini ramp.
“It’s got the rail and the bowl, but I think it needs mini ramp right by the triangle so you can ollie off the pyramid onto the mini pipe,” Scott said. “Our park has no transition.”
The boys all said they wished the sprinklers could be turned on at night, when no one is skating in the park, because the sprinklers make everything in the park too wet to skate on. The boys also said they disagree with the rule against skateboarding on sidewalks in town.
“It’s stupid because that’s how we get to the park,” Pillow said.
“A lot of us learned how to skate at II Sisters and we still want to skate there but we get into trouble if we do,” Brown said. “We also can’t skate up by the school and that’s dumb.”
The boys said there is a $250 fine for skating on sidewalks in town, but that the officers don’t usually do anything when they see this violation except to ask the kids to leave the area.
Although the boys see room for improvement within the park, they said they helped a little bit to get the park built. Pillow said he helped lay of the grass and that all of the skaters help clean the park when it gets too dusty. Scott said someone stole the broom for sweeping the park and that each time the skaters are given a new broom, it gets stolen, too.
“We did go to a bunch of the city council meetings to finally get them to build the park,” Brown said.
Since the boys would like to see a mini ramp and a half-pipe built into the park, they said they would be willing to help build these items.
“They told Shawn Perry he couldn’t put his half-pipe here because it’s wood,” Brown said. “I was going to build a mini-ramp for my senior project but they won’t let me put it here because it’ll be wood.”
Pillow said he thinks wood ramps are not allowed in the park because they get broken up and worn down too quickly. He added that there have only been three accidents at the park that he can think of.
“If someone gets hurt bad, we help them, but if it’s just a small fall we tell them to walk it off,” Brown said.
The boys each said they are usually at the park every day and that the park doesn’t look the way they expected it to because the design blueprints kept changing. They said when the park first opened it was very crowded, but that it isn’t usually crowded anymore.
“The park needs a light for night skating,” Brown said. “Then more people would use it and it would be less hot.”
Despite what they would like to see added to the park, the boys said they are glad to have it and enjoy hanging out at it. One thing they said they’d enjoy seeing is if an artist could decorate the bowl. They also said a concession stand and/or skate shop would be nice to see at the park.