The Ian Kortbek Memorial Skatepark
The following is a letter that Ian Kortbek and myself wrote the Block Island Times way back in June of 2000, enjoy:
Dear Recreation Board members, town officials, and citizens of Block Island;
Skateboarding on Block Island has grown exponentially in recent years, and shows no sign of slowing down. But, it’s clear that the skateboarders, rollerbladers and freestyle bikers need more room than is presently available in town.
On many occasions while skateboarding, my friends and I have faced many difficulties. We have been escorted off parking lots by store owners and almost hit by cars when skateboarding on the street and asked by business owners not to skateboard near their shops.
This was not a problem in the past, but the number of people participating in skateboarding has grown larger than these owners are comfortable dealing with.
Most recently, Block Island police officers have told skaters that they are no longer allowed to skate around the town. They have been giving numerous warnings, but now are threatening to take away our skateboards. As these examples show, there is a real need for action and the skaters of Block Island have a great solution.
We propose that the town build a skate park; a place where skateboarders, rollerbladers, bikers and anyone else can practice what they love to do in a safe place, without bothering anyone else.
This idea is not as far out as you might first think. Towns all through this state have come to a similar solution. We have been passing out a petition all over town and have signatures from skaters, parents, local authorities and store owners who also agree that a skatepark is the best solution. The building of a skatepark will not only benefit the people who will use the park, but the town as a whole will also benefit tremendously. Kids will have a great place to go and have fun.
Instead of having to resort to drug use, these kids now have a place to go. Local businesses will not have to worry as much about what they think is a problem of vandalization. If the town builds a really great skatepark, people will travel to our town just to skate at the park. It’ll give good publicity to the town!
I know that a skatepark would be perfect. I want to ask the town if they can have a designated area put together immediately where safe, legal skateboarding can occur. There is no reason why this should wait; action should be taken right away. Thank you.
I remeber writting this letter like it was yesterday, it's hard to believe it was 6 years ago.