Skate Park Discussion Leads to Formation of Focus Group

A crowd of 40 skateboarders, parents, business people and community leaders gathered this morning at...

A crowd of 40 skateboarders, parents, business people and community leaders gathered this morning at Countryside Marketplace to present ideas on bringing a skate park to Menifee.

Free coffee and donuts provided by Starbucks was on hand to feed the morning discussion group as they tackled questions on finding a location and raising funds, among other challenges.

"I got a lot of emails from kids who said they want a skate park in Menifee", said Darcy Kuenzi, who organized the meeting. "But what are the needs of the skaters in the community? Should we have one big park, or multiple smaller parks?"

Mieke Tankink, a grandmother and local businesswoman who runs Ohana Smoothies, offered the idea of creating smaller parks in shopping centers. "We should get shopping centers to create small areas designated for skateboarders".

John Page, youth director with Paloma Youth Basketball, seemed more in favor of creating one large park, but expanding even further to create a recreation center. "This could be more than just a skate park, we could bring in basketball, a swimming pool, soccer fields", Page spoke. "It's high time the city thinks bigger."

Councilwoman Darcy Kuenzi (left) leads a discussion on bringing a skatepark to Menifee, Sept 10, 2011

As a result of the meeting, a smaller focus group of 18 people persons was created to concentrate efforts. They'll continue to explore possible locations, find partners willing to help get a project going, and how to raise funds.

Cynthia Nemelka, who will be leading the focus group, added that the skate park needs to be as centrally located as possible. "It needs to be close to the city center, someplace that's easily accessible to everyone."

With regards to the turn out, Kuenzi seemed excited. "It exceeded my expectations", she stated. "The community stepped up to make something happen in their city. It's not always government's job to get something done, it's the people helping their government."

The focus group will be meeting next Saturday, September 17, at 8:00am at Diamond Realty, 27070 Sun City Blvd.

The public is invited, and the group is still accepting more members.

For more information, contact Cynthia Nemelka at (951) 309-1000, or e-mail her at cynthia@teamdadanddaughters.com

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