Stoked For A Skatepark

Posted: May 2, 2011

By Heather Morgan
Published in The Scene, Menasha, Wisconsin

A teenage John Pearson was about 24 hours out from having his wisdom teeth pulled, but he couldn’t resist meeting up with a fellow “skate rat” for an afternoon of skateboarding – in the Stevens Point municipal pool (emptied out for the off-season). John had just taken a hard fall, and felt the warm taste of blood fill his mouth as he climbed out of the pool. As he leaned over to spit a big red loogie, he heard a booming voice: “Party’s over boys. You’re under arrest.”

That was 1987, and it wasn’t the only time John, now 40 and still a huge skateboarding enthusiast, was arrested for his prolific skateboarding crimes. Once, when he was arrested in Wisconsin Rapids, his citation read: “Offense: Jumping a Fire Hydrant.” Back then, if you wanted to skate, you found the nearest smooth curb, emptied out pool, or loading dock to practice your skills. Only a couple of skateboard parks existed in the entire country, and there sure wasn’t one in Central Wisconsin.

As the saying goes: “If your city doesn’t have a skatepark, your whole city is a skatepark.”

Well, it only took 25 years from that day Pearson and his friend got arrested in the Municipal Pool, but skaters now have a sanctioned – and world-class – place to skateboard in Stevens Point.

Public Skatepark Development Guide

Public Skatepark Development Guide
Second Edition Released!

The Public Skatepark Development Guide, the indispensable handbook for public-skatepark advocates, is now available in an updated and improved second edition. First published in 2007 by the Tony Hawk Foundation, Skaters For Public Skateparks, and the International Association of Skateboard Companies, the ultimate guide for community-skatepark advocates was available for free, and supplies quickly disappeared. The new 128-page second edition features updated information and expanded chapters, including skatepark vision, advocacy, fundraising, design, and management, plus several supplements and visual aids.

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