Two Grade 7 students from Donald Young School approached members of the Emo recreation council last week with the idea of building a skateboard park there.
Devin Meyers and Greg Maki explained they believe it would be a positive addition to the municipality.
“It’s important to keep kids off the street and out of trouble—away from drugs and alcohol,” Meyers stressed at the meeting Thursday evening.
“Parents would always know where their kids are because we’d be there 24/7,” he added.
Maki said it would be a good way to give their parents a break. “And we’d be staying in shape, too,” he added.
The pair said they’d like to see a smooth cement pad complete with a half pipe, fun box, spine, rail, and a bench (to grind on).
They provided rec council members with sample diagrams of these elements.
Meyers stressed they aren’t looking for large skate park—noting something the size of the one in Fort Frances would be too big for Emo.
“We wouldn’t have enough people for that,” he remarked, adding they’d like an “Emo-sized” version.
“There’s certainly a possibility, but we’d be out of our league if you wanted one like Fort Frances’ [skate park],” rec council member Nevin Bonot agreed.
Meyers and Maki said they envision the proposed Emo skate park to be similar in size to that of the one located near Kerry Park over in International Falls, Mn.
But they added they’ve already determined several things they’d want done differently in a new skate park, such as making the half pipe out of cement instead of wood and not spacing the elements too far apart.
“So we can learn from any mistakes that Fort Frances or [International] Falls made,” reasoned rec council member Carrie Barker.
“There’s a lot of people with bikes and skateboards in Emo who would use [a skate park],” said Meyers, noting some Emo residents currently drive to Fort Frances to use the skate park there.
Bonot said there’s no question rec council would be willing to make space available for a skate park near the new sportsfield on Emo Road, but added they need the cash to do it.
Their budget already is being used for current projects.
“Maybe if you start with some fundraising, then we’d be able to look at it down the road,” Baker said.
The rec council suggested the boys organize a walk-a-thon—where participants also could bike or skateboard—this summer to start the fundraising process.
In the meantime, Bonot offered to have a look at the skate park in International Falls so the rec council can get a better sense of the proposal.