Sunday, September 15, 2013

FUN, SAFE & DRUGS: MUNDY POND SKATE PARK QUAGMIRE


I came face to face with a sad bit of reality yesterday.

My scooter and skateboard obsessed boys wanted to go to “Mundy” for a while yesterday afternoon. My nephew was in from St. Bernard’s for the weekend and a trip to this facility was on his must-do list.

The Northwest Rotary Skate Park, located in Mundy Pond Park , is a radical 16,600 square foot concrete park that offers bowl and street skating/riding obstacles for the beginner right up to the more advanced user. 

The boys spend a lot of time at the community skate park at Quidi Vidi Lake. A trip to “Mundy” is a treat because it has a three-foot bowl transferring to multi height six to eight-foot bowl with extensions, escalators and hips. Small, medium and large banks with rails and hubbas and flat ledges. It also features has stairs, tons of step-ups, transfers, gaps, rails, ledges, multi-fun box and more.

The City of St. John’s Website: “encourages residents who are interested in skate activities to use and enjoy the specialty skate facilities that have been built in every area of the city. Whether users ride bicycles, scooters or skateboards, they should use these professionally designed challenging facilities rather than roadways or public or private properties in the interest of safety. Remember, always wear personal protective equipment (helmet, knee pads, elbow pads, etc.) to stay safe and have fun.”

The “stay safe and have fun” bit is the challenge since apparently the “Thunderbowl” has become a popular drug hang-out for teens, some pre-teens and older people. 

The boys and there friends talked quite matter of fact to me about the smell of weed. The thought of the boys being exposed to this culture, in the middle of the day in a public facility, has me seeing red and Mundy is now on the banned list, at least until I get some answers about enforcement. 

In July, The town of Bay Roberts had to shut its popular new skate park just two weeks after it opened, following the discovery of used needles at the site. It was to re-open once new cameras were installed.

In the wake of the odor, I took the boys up to the Smallwood Skate Park in Mount Pearl. Just as big a crowd but much more open to the prying eyes of parents, traffic and police.

I would just like for my boys to be able to stay SAFE and have DRUG FREE FUN at the Mundy Pond Skate Park.I just do not feel that the City is doing everything possible to ensure the safety of our kids. 

All people influence, and are influenced by the contexts they inhabit. Skate parks, and adolescent development go hand-in-hand. 

Skate Parks are supposed stop young people from skating in public places, help reduce youth problems, enhance community life, and enliven our city.

I am pretty confident that community partners like the Northwest Rotary did not envision supporting a drug culture at our cities parks.

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