Skateboarders Unite to Bring Skatepark to GJ
KREX News Room
GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. Local skateboarders have come together to bring a new skatepark to Grand Junction, they've been collecting petition signatures for months. While skateparks do exist in the valley, riders say they are unmaintained and dangerous.
When skaters ride the concrete, it's a chance to express themselves, to be free.
"Its a hobby, it's an art, it's a lifestyle, it's what we do," said 17-year-old Nicholas Miller.
Pointing out cracks along the concrete, veteran skater John Krusnoski said, "I mean, this is insane right here, this is huge,"
West Gate was one of the first skateparks in Colorado, but fast-forward 18 years it largely remains unchanged.
Matt Thornton, an associate at BC Surf & Sport, said, "This park wasn't built by skateboarders, it was built by the same people who laid the sidewalks. It's not safe at all." Thornton started petition efforts.
"The level of skating in Grand Junction, it's almost handicap for what there is to skate on," said veteran skater and owner of Bin 707 Foodbar, Josh Niernberg.
"We've been skating our whole lives and we're scared to skate here," said Krusnoski.
Some portions of the park aren't even being used. One of the keyholes is filled with water due to inadequate drainage.
"We are a part of the community too and if the baseball fields get maintenance, why shouldn't this get maintenance," said Thornton.
They want a progressive skatepark, one where all skill levels can coexist.
"I believe that we could build a destination skatepark, not unlike those popping up in every small town and city all over the state of Colorado," said Niernberg.
"I know how bad these kids want a new park and they need it man. Because this is their lives, this is what we do," said Miller.
City officials tell NewsChannel 5 that they would like to sit down with petition signers and hear more about what they would like in the Grand Valley. Officials added that they really weren't aware of the grievances, and would like to help change things if possible.