Julie in Michigan

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Sunday, August 23, 2009

Skate Parks

****** I visited Ortonville yesterday, enjoying a cool afternoon walk and observing the downtown area. The hub of activity was clearly located at the Skate Park in the downtown area. The sounds of wheels, skateboards, bikes and rollerblades overrode good natured calls and kidding between the kids, roughly aged between 11 and 16.

The reason for choosing Ortonville for my afternoon outing was the construction of the Brandon Township Community Park. They recently received a $75,000 grant from the Land & Water Conservation Fund and Michigan Department of Natural Resources. The community has been in the process of funding the recreational area with donations from private residents and local businesses. A committee was formed in 2000 dedicated to providing quality recreation programs. The resultant 47 acre parcel of former farmland, containing fields for soccer, baseball and football, pavilions, play and picnic areas is beautiful and peaceful. The only ones using the park yesterday was a small wedding party in one of the pavilions. It would be way too far for the kids of downtown Ortonville to walk. The kids were more interested in the skate park in the middle of downtown and so was I.

As a child growing up in the fifties, in a suburb east of Detroit, I loved to roller skate. Bike-riding came fast on its heels and claimed my time until I graduated to automobiles and other interests. We didn’t have skateboards or roller blades in those days. I got on a pair of rollerblades once last summer. I probably won’t try that again.

But I am impressed with the agility and balance of today’s youth in handling the hills and valleys of the Skate Parks and any other non-flat surface they can find. They can’t find many in the Village. Why don’t we do something about that?

I’ve been doing some research on the Internet (so what’s new?) and have found that the idea of a Skate Park has been making the rounds but no one is stepping forward to assume responsibility for building one.

I’ve never been afraid of a challenge. After all, I am in the final stages of estate settlement for my ex-husband who died last year. I won’t go into detail other than to reveal that I never knew that many pieces of paper and other ‘stuff’ would fit into one house.

Is anyone interested in joining with me? I’ve got some ideas and all that research I’ve been doing this spring and summer. I also have a location in mind and there are some ways we could gear the project to several different areas of interest that would place us in line for some Grant Funds.

See you around Lake Orion.

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