If the crowd gathered in the Memorial Sports Centre’s parking lot all of last week indicated anything, it is that skateboarding could be the most popular sport among Fort Frances’ youngsters.
Due to a late pick up, some skateboarders have mistakenly thought the park was here to stay for the entire summer. Not so, according to Megan Ross, the town’s physical education director.
“I don’t have an exact date for pick up,” she said. “It was supposed to come down on Friday, but the person who organizes it has yet to pick it up,” she added.
But, she stressed that it is only a logistical concern and that the skate park will definitely be taken down at some point.
This will come as bad news for the multitudes of young skateboarders that spent countless hours there everyday for the past week.
“I like the park a lot,” said Tyler Harris, 13. “I spend almost 12 hours a day here.” he added.
He is not alone in his dedication to the park.
“At least we have something to do during the days,” explained Tyler Bagacki, 10. He and his seven year-old brother Tanner enjoy skating away the summer days at the park.
The lot has also become a social focal point for an estimated 30-40 local youths each day. “They are there all day and all night,” agreed Ross.
Although the park’s dismantling is imminent, the news is not all bad for the skateboarders.
“I’m going to try to establish a permanent skateboard park,” said Ross. “We will probably put it in the budget for next year,” she added.
According to Ross, when a permanent skate park is established, a few issues will have to be addressed.
“We did have problems with garbage and vandalism,” she said. “They have to realize that they just can’t do that,” she stressed.
This skate park’s trial run has made it clear to Ross that supervision is necessary for both safety and property concerns. She is already thinking about the best ways to combat these problems.
“We could be able to create a student summer job,” she said. “Hopefully, we can create a job for an older skateboarder to act as a supervisor,” she added.
Unfortunately for the skate enthusiast, the new park will not be opened for at least another eight months. Until then, the local ’borders have a couple of options.
“Sometimes, I go to a friend’s house,” said Jonas Watson, 13.
“I could go across to International Falls, but I don’t want to pay the five bucks,” he added.