“Which presents a safety hazard for not only the skateboarder, but the pedestrian,” said Hamlett.
The folks at the neighborhood meeting suggested the town provide an area for skateboarders. They suggested that a skatepark might address their safety concerns by giving skaters a sanctioned area in which to skate.
“I told them that I would bring it to the next board meeting, which is what I did,” Hamlett said.
Canton is currently planning renovations for its Recreation Park. Hamlett thought it’d be an ideal time to consider a skatepark for the property.
Upon hearing that the town was considering such an endeavor, a local church donated some equipment toward the cause.
“When Seth was talking to me about it, I told him we had some equipment and I said it’d definitely be cool if we donated it to the town, because we definitely want to support our town,” said Caleb Simmons, a pastor at Pinnacle Church in Fibreville.
The church purchased the equipment a few years ago — “we were ministering to a lot of kids who rode skateboards” — but wasn’t currently using it. Hendler-Voss was intrigued and went to take a look.
“It’s about eight pieces, modular equipment, which includes ramps, quarter pipes and a rail,” the town manager said, “You can also add onto it and expand the footprint.”
The town intends to put the skatepark equipment on the old tennis courts at Recreation Park. The courts will be split between the park and an area for biking — signage has already been posted on the courts to let skaters and bikers know they’re welcome.
“There’s no public property in Canton where you could take your kids out and teach them how to ride a bike,” said Hendler-Voss. “You pretty much have to take your kid to a church parking lot to teach them to ride a bike.”
Plans are to have the skate equipment in place soon. Officials would like to see the park up and running by early winter.
“The next step is to get some kids, some local skateboarders out here to help us try it out,” Hendler-Voss said, explaining that the town is reaching out to local skaters for help in laying out the equipment.
Once an appropriate layout is determined, the equipment will be secured to the ground. Skaters will be required to wear protective gear — pads, helmets — in order to use the equipment.
Alderman Hamlett said he considers the addition of a skatepark to be an example of the town moving forward in a progressive direction.
“It’s just another small step this board has taken to make a positive change for Canton,” he said.
Pinnacle Church recently donated some skatepark equipment to the town of Canton, which is turning the old tennis courts at Recreation Park into an area for skateboarding and biking. The equipment includes ramps, rails and quarter pipes.
The town is looking for local skateboarders who are interested in helping determine how best to lay out the park equipment. Anyone interested in participating should call Canton Town Hall at 828.648.2363.