FANWOOD, NJ - Last Monday, the Fanwood Borough Council unanimously voted to build a new skate park in Forest Road Park. The borough's Parks and Recreation Department will undertake the task of finalizing the park’s design and supervising the construction.
The department states that the 12-17 age group has been underserved by the city, and this skate park is an effort to reach out to those teens.
This decision has come after deliberations going back to September where citizens voiced their support and concerns at a special meeting and at two council meetings.
The new skate park, which will replace the old hockey rink, will cost about $124,000 to construct. However, this will come at no cost to taxpayers because half of the money is coming from the Union County Recreational Trust Fund and the other half from money donated through various community events the Recreation Department has held.
“I think it’s a great idea,” says Scotch Plains-Fanwood High School junior and avid skateboarder Katie Westerlund. “Especially for the kids that you see skating on the street, it gives them a place to go without them having to worry about getting into trouble.“
When asked about the notion that skateboarders are reckless and destroy property, she responded, “Don’t judge a book by its cover. Stereotypes are wrong and should not be trusted. Consider myself, a skateboarder who is also involved in school, band, volunteer work, soccer, and many other activities.”
While the completion time for the park has not yet been announced, for many young people it will be a welcome addition to the neighborhood.