Skate Park Gives Teens Place To Escape Culture And Focus On Exercise

By: Sonia Eizenhoefer 0 Comments   7/22/2011

In the St. Cloud area it’s exciting to see that teens have a place to enjoy Skate Boarding at the Skate Plaza.

It’s important for teenagers to have a place of their own for recreation that is free and somewhere they won’t get in trouble. Here in St. Cloud skate boarding is forbidden in so many areas; now finally teens can enjoy themselves.

The St. Cloud Skate Plaza is located on 225 33rd Ave. South, St. Cloud. It is across from the old Wal-Mart and near the Historic Museum.

The story of how the park came about is amazing .Austin Lee, a 14 year old, approached the mayor of St. Cloud, Dave Kleis with aplan to make a skate plaza. At the meeting he had the facts and figures of the estimates and charts and graphs with a design for creating a new skate park. Kleis had Lee join the Park & Rec board to help with the project among others in the St. Cloud area.

Lee, 14, took it upon himself to meet with executives and asked, “How are you going to support the kids of St. Cloud?” Last November this dream of his came true, not just for himself, but for the other kids of St. Cloud who wanted to have a place of their own to skate. Lee explained, “Getting chased out of downtown isn’t exactly as fun as it may sound.”

The grand opening was last November on the 13th but the kids were already out there on the 7th. Local people at nearby businesses have stated how they couldn’t wait to return to the park once winter was over; they just took shovels there and cleared it off so they could use it. These are good examples of how much the teens enjoy it.

Using roller blades, roller skates, or skateboards at the park are optional. If you’re not one to use any of these, it is fun to simply watch. In my experience while watching, there is a lot going on and it’s hard to focus on just one person because the kids are going in all directions.

Although for a beginner this recreation can be dangerous there are some precautions you can take to protect yourself and your children. Use knee and elbow pads and gloves to help lessen any injuries from a fall, even better protection yet is to use helmets too.

The attitude of our culture toward children and teens has been to shoo them away and not give them a place. Now, it’s refreshing to see that people are beginning to understand how important the young people are and allow them something they enjoy. Skate boarding and rollerblading are great forms of exercise. This activity gets children out of the house and away from video games and TV.

Let us take on the attitude that Jesus had forchildren.

One day children were brought to Jesus in the hope that he would lay hands on them and pray over them. The disciples shooed them off.  But Jesus intervened. “Let the little children alone, don’t prevent them from coming to me. God’s kingdom is made up of people like these.” (Matthew 19:14 MSG).

Jesus didn’t shoo the children away, nor did He see them as a bother, He took time to be with them and blessed them and declared their importance. We need to do the same.

Another great reason this skate park is a good idea is it can keep teens out of trouble. Boredom during the summer months could be what causes teenagers to experiment with smoking,drinking, sex, and illegal drugs, so it is important to get them involved with activities that they like.

I am so grateful for Austin Lee, Dave Kleis, and those who donated to make this happen. Let’s continue to create fun places for the children of St. Cloud to call their own. We want them to grow up in a safe and fun city. After all they are the leaders of tomorrow and at the rate Austin Lee is going he is off to a great start! 

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