Twin Lakes to open new skate park

BY IAN THIBODEAU
ithibodeau@kenoshanews.com

TWIN LAKES — A grand opening for the village’s skate park begins at 2 p.m. Sunday after nearly three years of fundraising and planning.

Twin Lakes resident Elaine Valentine and her family are happy to see the grand opening after working to raise funds the past 2½ years.

After years of driving her sons Nathan, 17, and Ryan, 15, to other cities to skate, Valentine and other Twin Lakes began the push to build a skate park in the village.

In a deal with the Parks Commission, officials agreed to match what Valentine could raise. She began various fundraisers, but she said it was tough to get consistent participation from other skaters.

“We weren’t getting a lot of people to help,” she said, noting the help she did receive was sporadic.

Valentine hoped to raise over $10,000; after 2½ years she had $4,000.

Last August, Valentine met again with the Parks Commission, and it appeared $8,000 wouldn’t be enough.

But when skaters got wind of the project possibly begin scrapped, interest grew, according to Village Administrator Jennifer Pollitt.

Valentine also connected with FRESHPARK, a California-based company which sells less expensive, portable skate parks.

FRESHPARK provided a customized package for $8,000, and Twin Lakes officials were working Wednesday to assemble the ramps in Legion Park on the former tennis courts.

Pollitt said the ramps, rails and platforms can be bolted to the ground, but that won’t happen until skateboarders give their input for possible layouts during the grand opening.

The park will be open from 9 a.m. until sunset daily. It’s undecided if the ramps will be removed in winter.

Pollitt said the park will be a great addition to Twin Lakes.

“I know they (skateboarders) are going to be excited about having a place to skate,” she said. “And because of the fundraising it took to get it (the park), it will be treated with respect.”

According to Pollitt, the rules sign posted outside of the park announces to patrons that “this is your park,” and skaters should treat it accordingly.

Although there were hopes for a bigger park, Valentine said she and others are happy that there is something being built.

One perk of FRESHPARK’s style is the park can be constantly changed and added to; Valentine is done leading the fundraising, but she wouldn’t be surprised if someone else tried to raise money to make additions to the park.

Pollitt is optimistic about the park.

“This is step one,” she said. “We’ll see how the reception is. We’re excited for the future.”

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