This enthusiastic band of good-doing skaters are prepared to take back the community’s skate park — aiming to turn around the park’s reputation for drug solicitations and bad behavior. Photo by Jake Hibbitts

Local group aims to take back the skate park

A local band of good-doing, enthusiastic skaters are looking to take back the city’s skate park, both in reputation and in style.

Led by Jonathan Chan, a group of about 50 interested skaters hosted a meeting Easter Sunday to see if they could better the reputation at the skate park at Memorial Park.

Chan, along with the small group of skaters, showed up at the May 1 city council meeting where they showed a video and shared their experiences of how skating not only kept them out of trouble, it completely turned their lives around for the better.

The group is also seeking to be ahead of the game and is seeking to obtain a grant from the Tony Hawk Foundation — something another skate park in Quincy did to revamp its skate park. They are also open to hosting fundraisers, asking businesses and other nonprofits or community organizations for support.

Chan has been skating since he was 10 years old. He went into a program called the Adult and Teen Challenge, which is a worldwide network of Christian faith-based corporations intended to help teenagers, adults and families with problems such as substance abuse or self-destructive behavior.

Chan now sees what he calls the therapeutic benefits of skating, which we described as, “Teaching yourself to get back up after you fall, to change your perspective to accomplish your goal and land a trick, and to keep trying.”

Mayor Pro tem Joseph Franco told the group, “I think it’s really great that something like this can come together, because I think it’s time to take back the skate park and make it all-inclusive to all members of the community in Susanville.”

Franco shared his own experiences saying he hesitates when asked by his grandchildren to go to the skate park. He thanked the skaters for their offering of a more safe and comfortable skate park.

Councilmember Brian Wilson told the attendees of the meeting that there indeed was a second phase of the skate park that has yet to be finished. It is already designed, but the funding is the factor that prevented it from coming to fruition.