July 9, 2013
Skate Park needs higher visibility
We are pleased to see that the mayor and Issaquah City Council listened to the people who spoke up for a solution to relocating the Skate Park.
It was teens who brought their skateboards and their voices to the council in 1996 when they asked for the Skate Park to be built. It was opened in 1997 just behind the Issaquah Community Center and for a while was a true asset to the primarily teen set who had a place to careen on their boards up one cement wall and down another.
The seclusion of the park — along the wooded Rainier Trail that connects the high school and middle school — proved to be too attractive to youths who need supervising. The Skate Park is now known in the community as much for its drug dealing as a place to skate. Litter, including drug paraphernalia, gives insight into illegal activity going on there.
In neighboring Sammamish, the city skate park was built right in front of the police station, along the city’s major arterial road. Behavior problems have been negligible.
City Council members have known for some time that the Issaquah Skate Park is a problem, even though the park closes at dusk. The cost of relocating the park was considered for inclusion in this fall’s city park bond, but there were few voices to promote it.
Thanks to leaders in the Issaquah Community Network, a group that is focused on drug prevention, a quick petition drive spurred the City Council to action last week. While the park bond will proceed without including Skate Park funds, the council is expected to consider possible sites for relocating the park.
We hope one of those sites will be at Memorial Field, right behind the police and fire stations.