Grant will go to­ward skatepark

Northern Berks Patriot Item - - FRONT PAGE - By Lisa Mitchell lmitchell@21st-cen­tu­ry­ @kutz­town­pa­triot on Twit­ter

The Kutztown Com­mu­nity Skatepark Association was re­cently awarded a $5,000 Tony Hawk Foun­da­tion grant to­ward building a skatepark at Kutztown Park.

Deborah Clauss, pres­i­dent of the Kutztown Com­mu­nity Skatepark Association, said that the group has been work­ing since 2016 to build a skatepark in Kutztown.

“We are ex­tremely grate­ful and hon­ored to be cho­sen to re­ceive a $5,000 grant from the THF. The process is very lengthy and the com­pe­ti­tion for funds is very tough,” said Clauss.

She said that the grant funds are be­ing used for the con­struc­tion of a con­crete multi-use skatepark in­side the Kutztown Park. The park will ac­com­mo­date skate­boards, scoot­ers, bmx bikes, and rollerblad­ing.

The Kutztown skatepark project was born out of a need to find a safe place for her son

to skate­board.

“My 9-year-old son loves to skate­board and scooter. There is no safe place in Kutztown to prac­tice these sports. One day he was try­ing to skate­board and was al­most struck by a ve­hi­cle. I de­cided to ex­press my con­cerns on a public Face­book page and I met An­drew Kun­kle, an­other lo­cal par­ent and skate­boarder who shared my con­cerns,” she said.

Clauss and Kun­kle be­came part­ners and formed the Kutztown Com­mu­nity Skatepark Association, an ap­proved 501c3 non-profit association, with the goal of cre­at­ing a safe place to per­form al­ter­na­tive wheeled sports in­side the bor­ough.

“There are mul­ti­ple ben­e­fits to hav­ing ex­panded use of our beau­ti­ful Kutztown Park. A Skatepark will specif­i­cally tar­get youth ages 10 and up, where are cur­rent play­ground equip­ment does not of­fer much for the over 10 crowd,” said Clauss. “Our na­tion is see­ing the worst opi­oid epi­demic in the his­tory of the na­tion. Re­searchers have iden­ti­fied sports and recre­ation as a pro­tec­tive fac­tor for at risk youth. Hav­ing a Skatepark that will at­tract older youth to a public space and healthy ac­tive sports are syn­ony­mous with these iden­ti­fied pro­tec­tive fac­tors.”

The Skatepark will be lo­cated at the site of the old Roller Rink in­side the main Kutztown Park, just next to the play­ground. The Skatepark is a 2,200 square foot cus­tom con­crete de­sign. The de­sign was cus­tom cre­ated for Kutztown by Ar­ment Con­crete, an ex­pe­ri­enced Skatepark and con­struc­tion de­sign com­pany, said Clauss.

“The Skatepark is a very ex­cit­ing edi­tion to our lo­cal park and a won­der­ful tran­si­tion to the space of the old roller rink,” she said.

Kutztown Com­mu­nity Skatepark Association con­tin­ues to need fi­nan­cial support. They have raised more than 60 per­cent of their needed funds but still need to raise the fi­nal $9,000.

Con­tri­bu­tions can be made via the Face­book page for the Kutztown Com­mu­nity Skatepark, at Go Fund me (Kutztown com­mu­nity Skatepark) or mail checks made out to Kutztown Com­mu­nity Skatepark Association to 104 Pine St., Kutztown PA, 19530.

KCSPA is an ap­proved 501c3 non profit association.

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