May 22, 2017
By Ellery Kuntz
When I look at Forestville, here is what I see - a welcoming and nurturing community where all people support each other and the activities Forestville provides. Thanks to theForestville Youth Park (7045 Mirabel Rd, Forestville), children can play on the play structures, teens can participate in organized sports such as little league, and families can enjoy a nice sunny day under the trees. The Youth Park and Forestville’s entirety, however, does not offer an activity for teens less interested in organized sports and that have outgrown the playground. So, how do we get these kids off of the couch watching Netflix and engaged in their community? The answer is simple - let's build a community skate park, where children, teens, and families can continue to gather based on a shared interest. Parks are our playground, and with a skatepark in Forestville, skateboarders from different communities and various states could unite as one to share an experience together.
My name is Ellery Kuntz, I am a 17 year-old senior at El Molino High School, and for the past three years, I have been working in conjunction with the Forestville Youth Park to make this dream a reality. I created a skatepark committee, a portion of Forestville’s community that would like to assist me with this journey. First off, to clear the air, there are many myths about skateparks that I would like to disprove- the biggest being that these parks will attract negative or even criminal activity. Contrary to this belief however, skateparks reduce illicit behavior, by providing a designated area for youth to participate in a positive activity.
This safe and engaging environment protects skaters from injury, most of which happen outside of skateparks as a result of surface irregularities and collisions with vehicles and pedestrians. Skateparks also reduce damage to private property, as business owners and community members no longer have to spend time and money shooing skaters away from their property. And speaking of money, skateparks tend to draw folks from outlying communities to come bring their kids to the skatepark, do some shopping, have lunch, buy a cup of coffee, some gas - spend money at local businesses.
These are just a few benefits for a skatepark in Forestville but for our town to achieve them, we need your help.
If you or anyone you know would like to support this project, the skatepark committee meets on the second Thursday of every month at the Forestville's Food For Thought building at 7:00 pm.(6550 Railroad Ave, Forestville) If you or a friend feel just as passionate about building a safe and inviting environment for skaters and those interested in it to have fun and be involved in their community, feel free to stop by and say hello. However, if meetings are not your forte, there are many other ways you can assist - weather by organizing events, taking photos, being a passionate skateboarder, or working on our social media.
Please email email@example.com or call (707)887-8260 if you are interested in helping or learning more about this endeavor. Building a skatepark in Forestville is not a project that will happen over night. With your help, you can impact the future of skateboarding, the future of Forestville, and the future of the community you live in. Remember, parks are our playground and they are built to support the youth. Let the youth's goals and ideas shape our future, so join me to create a positive environment for these kids to be active and engaged in their community.
Forestville Youth Park, 7045 Mirabel Rd, Forestville, CA 95436
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Community Meetings are scheduled for:
Calistoga: Feb 5 & 25,
Napa: Feb 5 & 20
Clearlake: Feb 8
Ukiah: Feb 13