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Tell Us: Is Foxborough’s Skatepark Worth Saving?

The South Street park has been closed since October 2012.

As Foxborough’s Board of Recreation considers permanently closing the town’s skatepark, which hasn’t been open since October 2012, a group of residents have reached out to the board in hopes of restoring – and saving – the same park they founded more than a decade ago.

The citizen group interested in restoring the skatepark, according to The Sun Chronicle, consists of Foxborough residents Kevin Weinfeld, Jeremy Waltzer – both local businessmen – and several other men who have been involved with the skatepark over the years.

Their message to the Board of Recreation, according to the Chronicle, was “the town should make an effort to preserve a facility for kids who may prefer individual sports to team sports.”

To read the Sun Chronicle’s article in its entirety, click here.

Foxborough Town Planner Sharon Wason, who helped bring a skatepark to neighboring Walpole when she served as the planner for that town, said skateparks are an asset to a community’s youth and should not be undervalued.

“My own experience in working to get a skatepark in Walpole was that there are kids in any community who don't quite fit into the cheerleader/student government version of school and that a skatepark, especially where the kids are involved in design, maintenance, monitoring, and training can provide a community for kids who don't have other groups to identify with,” Wason said. “Anything that is inclusive is good in my humble opinion.”

Wason also recalled a point her children’s pediatrician made regarding skateparks many years ago.

“When my children were small, their pediatrician, knowing I was his town planner, would give me his advice on issues related to children and safety,” Wason said. “He had two big issues -- that there has to be a fence between a house and a pool and towns need skateparks. His position on skateparks, based on his patients and coverage in the emergency room, was that kids broke a wrist or their leg at the skatepark where they were encouraged or required to wear appropriate safety gear; when they fell on the street, they suffered much more serious injuries, including head injuries or worse.”

Wason added the American Academy of Pediatrics “recommends communities should continue to develop skateboarding parks and encourage youth to practice there.”

“These parks are preferred to home-constructed ramps and jumps, because they are more likely to be monitored for safety and separate the skateboarder from pedestrian and motor vehicle traffic,” Wason cited. “Existing guidelines for such parks should be standardized."

Foxborough Recreation Director Debbie Giardino told the Foxboro Reporter in April the park is currently unsafe and requires one or more skating ramps to be removed – and not replaced – due to costs.

"We are phasing out the skate park, due to financial constraints in maintaining it and repairing it," Giardino told the Reporter. "We will be keeping it closed until we are sure that we have taken every step to make it safe."

To read the Reporter’s article in its entirety, click here.

The next Board of Recreation meeting is Monday, May 20 at 7:30 p.m.

TELL US: Should the Foxborough skatepark be saved? Let us know in the comments section below!

Jeff May 09, 2013 at 01:38 PM
I always thought the skate/bike park was a great asset to the Booth Field complex. I just don't see how you can approve the turf-field project (which I also support) and then turn around and completely take away a park that was almost always in use whenever my family visited the Booth Fields. Isn't there a way to have a local business with related interests (ie: Foxboro Bike), to sponsor the location?
Steve May 09, 2013 at 01:58 PM
An activity like this, that is used by such a small amount of people, really should be funded by the users. The kids are lucky enough that businesses and residents stepped up and created the park, at this point the users should be fund raising and volunteering to keep it going. The recreation dept. budget is so tight; it is unfair to put this drain on their resources for such a small number of users.
Taunya May 09, 2013 at 07:45 PM
The skate park is used by a large number of kids. It should not be funded by the users. Why should it be different than the soccer or baseball fields? Just because it is not a team sport does not mean that is not important to the kids who skate or bike there. I would argue that it is more important as these kids don't have an association organizing their sport for them. No one supplying them with skates and bikes. All they have is the park which was placed there with no plans on how to maintain it. It should have a line in the budget just as every other sport in town does. But that is Foxborough.. no dog park, no skate park. You can only belong if you do what the majority wants you to do.
Jeff May 09, 2013 at 07:55 PM
PREFACE: I have never once in my life attempted to ride a skateboard, so I have absolutely no bias toward these sports. Steve, What exactly does "An activity like this" mean? Is it supposed to belittle the validity of skating and extreme sports? I'm sure the Tony Hawk's of the world may disagree with you, or even say local Xgamer Chris Childs. I'm curious, are you gathering your "small amount of users" information from some sort of study done on the skate park? If so, then great...fundraising by some small group of kids would be a great project for kids who use it. However that seems a little short sighted? It would not only be the kids raising funds who may benefit from using the skate park...but future skaters and bmxers, no? I just think it is too easy to dismiss this out of hand, just because you may not use the facility or feel there is a need for the park. To let it just vanish would seem to be a shame, maybe the Patch could further investigate what the issues are and the costs of the repairs? I feel like the Foxboro community would be willing to step up to help reopen the park, whether that is fundraising or offering services, if they knew what the challenges were.
Ken B. May 09, 2013 at 10:20 PM
Driven by there many many times, and there were usually more kids in the skate park than on the fields.
Joe Erhard May 19, 2013 at 07:51 PM
YES! Phasing out/closing the Foxboro Skatepark would cause unmet recreation needs for participants of the Foxboro Skatepark. I have created a new facebook page (Save, Repair & Open The Foxboro Skatepark - Foxboro, MA). To follow the Save, Repair & Open The Foxboro Skatepark - Foxboro, MA page's progress and support the future of the Foxboro Skatepark, please click on the following link and click the 'Like' button! https://www.facebook.com/Foxboro.Skatepark The next Board of Recreation meeting is scheduled for May 20th at 7:30pm and will include another opportunity to further discuss the future of the Foxboro Skatepark. To attend the Skatepark Discussion-Foxboro Board of Recreation Meeting, please click on the following link and click the 'Join' button! https://www.facebook.com/events/488630671190412/ *Please attend this Board of Recreation Meeting to support the Foxboro Skatepark! *Please invite anyone who is interested in supporting the Foxboro Skatepark! -Joe Erhard
Katie B. May 20, 2013 at 02:34 PM
While I have no issues with the skate park and can see the value of it for kids/teens, I would rather see town money go into updating and expanding the playgrounds, particularly the younger kid's playground behind the rec building. A lot of that equipment was there when I was young enough to play on it, and now I bring my son there.
Dennis Naughton May 20, 2013 at 02:41 PM
The skate park should be saved. It serves a population that is equally deserving as any other that is already being served on our public playing fields.
unknownauthor May 30, 2013 at 01:05 AM
If this was a baseball field you would not be having this conversation. Just because its not 300 plus skaters or bikers like there is baseball players doesn't mean they dont deserve a place to skate. Our country needs more skate parks, not parks being phased out. Skating and bmxing is growing every year. Back during the 80's their was a small new sport over the years it has grown. Please don't get rid of the best park in south eastern Massachusetts.
unknownauthor May 30, 2013 at 01:06 AM
Ps all three of my older children skate. Two girls ages 23 and 22 and a son age 17.
rider May 30, 2013 at 07:29 PM
The park needs to be saved. As far as the playgrounds in foxboro go, there are plenty. There is one skatepark. Just don't leave it locked up and buried in snow all winter. You put a wood skatepark outdoors. Of course it's going to rot all winter long if nobody clears it.
poor old lady June 14, 2013 at 12:36 PM
Save the skate park..The kids who use it deserve it...

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