BERLIN – Town officials have agreed to allow a temporary skateboarding facility in Berlin Falls Park.
On Monday, the town council approved an area resident’s proposal to set up his skateboarding ramps and equipment in Berlin Falls Park the last Sunday of each month from May to October. The equipment would be available for the public to use free of charge from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
“Our goal is to give an outlet for everybody to participate,” said Sean McLaren, the local resident who’s providing the ramps.
The council approved a “Temporary Skateboard Services and Facility Use Agreement” with McLaren to allow for the monthly events. McLaren had previously offered the use of his equipment to the town at a meeting of the Berlin Parks Commission. He and Tres Denk of the Eastern Shore International Mountain Biking Association hosted the “Get Ramped” skateboarding and biking event at Berlin Falls Park last year. They’re eager to provide area children with more biking and skateboarding opportunities.
“We have some people already with us and following us,” McLaren said, adding that their goal was to provide kids and adults with a healthy atmosphere to get together.
McLaren said those skateboarding would be required to wear helmets and that he would be providing dated stickers for each so that he knew who his regular attendees were.
McLaren’s agreement with the town also ensures that he will have at least two adults supervising each Sunday session and that he will provide general liability insurance. The town will allow him to store the ramps and such—what he described as 3- to 5- foot transitional pieces—in a building at Berlin Falls Park while the agreement is in effect.
Mike Wiley, chairman of the town’s parks commission, spoke in support of the new arrangement. He said the majority of the requests the commission received related to the need for a skate park in the community.
“The idea of a skate park has been around for ages,” Wiley said, adding that the obstacle had been the fact that no one wanted it in their backyard. “It looks like there are not any backyards that would be affected by eventually having a permanent skateboard facility in the future at the new park. I personally hope it is one of the early items to be added when actual planning and funding are in place.”
Councilman Zack Tyndall asked McLaren to keep records of who participated each Sunday.
“I’m very interested in your attendance,” he said. “That’ll help us moving forward.”