Berlin Skate Park Supporters Seek Direction From Council

Berlin Skate Park Supporters Seek Direction From Council
Berlin Skate

BERLIN – For the second time in less than a month, members of the local skateboarding and biking community entreated town officials to find a way to build a skate park in Berlin.

Skateboards were tucked under chairs and BMX bikes filled the rack outside Town Hall as 16-year-old Chad Joines and a number of other residents — young and old alike — asked the council what they could do to help the cause.

“I want this more than anybody in the world,” Joines said. “I have nowhere to go.”

Joines, a BMX rider, told officials how he had been kicked out of the skate park in Ocean Pines and similar facilities in other areas because bikes were not allowed. Trips to Baltimore and Pennsylvania have provided him with his only opportunities to practice in a park.

“I’m desperate for a place,” he said, offering to organize a fundraising effort.

Joines’ interest was echoed by several others at Monday’s council meeting.

“We don’t want to be overbearing but we’re waiting to be told when we should be doing something,” skate park supporter Tres Denk said.

Mayor Gee Williams encouraged those interested to simply stay involved in the process, which he says will begin with the town’s strategic planning meetings in the coming months.

Williams also suggested the skateboarders look into the possibility of setting up a temporary skate park for the immediate future.

“A temporary skate park would be something that would be feasible and would happen on a much faster track,” he said.

Councilmember Lisa Hall agreed.

“We have to be creative like we’ve done with everything else,” she said.

Williams said volunteers would play a key role in the process. He pointed to the success the residents who had formed the Berlin Pedestrian Safety Committee had once they joined together and donated their time and efforts to creating a safer Route 113.

“That is how I see this developing,” he said.

The mayor said interested citizens should get together and talk to other groups in town to get their support.

“My advice is to get as many different people to those strategic planning meetings as possible,” Williams said.

He said the town was in the process of selecting a company to facilitate the strategic planning process.

Williams said so far he had been encouraged by the interest residents had expressed in bringing a skate park to the area. He said no one had spoken out in opposition to the idea.

“If they’re against it, they haven’t said a word to me,” he said. “Most people are just saying ‘do it now.’”

Hall told Joines and his fellow biking and skateboarding enthusiasts to get together to help point the town in the right direction.

“You can help us get this done by giving us information,” she said.