Filth, vandalism, force closure of skateboard park

Submitted photo Unsafe and unsightly garbage is among the reasons the city has temporarily shut down the skate park.

Submitted photo Unsafe and unsightly garbage is among the reasons the city has temporarily shut down the skate park.

It was built with the idea of giving kids something to do, somewhere to go to have fun and stay out of trouble. Now the skate park in Maxwell Regional Park sits closed, again, because of repeated violations of park rules.
Public Works Director Melinka Bates said her staff has repeatedly witnessed bikes and scooters riding inside the park, lack of use of safety gear and riders using vulgar language, among other violations.
“For the second time this summer I have had to close it down due to excessive amounts of graffiti, alcohol containers, trash, cigarette butts and vandalism,” Bates said Tuesday.
The skate park is built on Sonoma County property, at the corner of Verano Avenue and Highway 12, but is maintained by the City of Sonoma.
Three weeks ago the park was temporarily closed for cleaning and pressure washing. Damage was repaired and graffiti removed. City staff on a daily basis is removing three 5-gallon buckets of trash, Bates said.
“Upon inspection (Tuesday), the place is strewn with trash, soda and alcohol containers,” Bates said. “The facility is so sticky that it will need to be pressure washed again.”
A notice has been posted that park will be re-opened once maintenance can be scheduled and completed.
Bates suggested that increased parent involvement and peer monitoring could help prevent the closure for the kids who actually obey the posted rules and regulations.
Key rules include: only riders are allowed inside the fence, and all must use proper safety equipment; food and drink are prohibited, as are bikes, scooters and any motorized equipment; and alcohol and tobacco are prohibited as well.
The clearly posted regulations also state that any graffiti or vandalism will result in park closure.


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