Businessman Robert Wilson has gone old school, values-wise. The owner of Sonoma Old School has adopted the Sonoma Skate Park, coming forward to take responsibility for keeping the park clean open.
The city was forced to close the park twice this summer because of garbage and vandalism, along with rider violations such as lack of safety gear and use of vulgar language.
Last week the city washed and cleaned the park, again, and handed over the keys to Wilson who has the ability to lock up that park if conditions become unsightly.
“I want the skaters to take some ownership for the park and this is the best way to get that message across,” he said. “Please realize that the skaters need a place to practice their art and without the park, they’re more likely to do so on public property. By keeping the park open and giving them the task of keeping it clean, we can satisfy both goals.”
The skate park is built on Sonoma County property at the corner of Verano Avenue and Highway 12, but had been maintained by the city. Much like an ‘Adopt a Bike Path’ agreement, Wilson has agreed to keep the facility clean – personally, and with volunteer crews enticed with discounts at his store.
Wilson has placed a garbage can and a recycling can within the boundaries of the fenced park and will take responsibility for emptying them each week.
“He really stepped forward,” said Public Works Director Melinka Bates. “It’s a great a partnership. I’m optimistic the kids will step up and take better care of the park.”
As for the skate park itself, Wilson’s website, skatesos.com, calls it “a good place to call home for the local skate rats. With a variety of transitional aspects for the bowl riders, and ridiculously low rails for the kiddies, Sonoma Skatepark is a nice starting ground for skateboarders alike. It seems to fit the need of the Sonoma Old School team!”