Last night I went to a gathering at the Baldarrama Park Recreation Center: Eastside Neighborhood.
One topic of confusion was the removable of the prior skate Park. Neighbors were told it was because of the kids hanging out and causing trouble. The City manager stated it was because neighbors abutting the park complained about NOISE, not because of the kids were a “bad element”. This was important because it shows how there are breaks in the dialogue between local government and the Eastside neighborhood.
A huge break in dialogue was the fact that the City employees in Neighborhood Services were not aware that there were 3 murders in the neighborhood in 3 months: Annabel’s was known but not the other 2 young adults.
There was A LOT of dialogue last night but I want to focus on how to get a skate park back so that kids have something to DO. Several people wanted to know about what the “process” is in order to get the park back.
Safety & security & ways to suppress noise were the issues that emerged. Many shared various ideas but it is of my belief that noise should be mitigated & park hours managed by the police or the community AND not depend on city money to SAVE LIVES. We need to save lives regardless of money!
I have already researched skate parks because on my mass transit campaigning, kids told me all about how they can’t skate on the Strand and they get ticketed a lot. Looks like their is a real shared need among our youth. I see it as easy to do!
The concern for everyone was funding, except for Anabell’s family. Where there is a will, there is a way. I see the solution as get funding for a park by the Tony Hawk Foundation and have the neighbors themselves solve the concerns of security through volunteers! Also, for noise mitigation solutions, we will confer with experts in the field & residents. One suggestion is to go to the Skateboard Association International. There are design factors and different materials used to reduce noise.
Please note, this is not a full recap of last nights meeting. I thought I would focus on recreation for the kids.